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Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

Red light cameras issued nearly 500,000 violations in 2015

Written by
Clayton Guse
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There are 175 intersections across Chicago that are equipped with red light cameras, and Chicagoans despise each and every one of them. Our ire isn't completely unjustified—a former city official was just convicted of steering red light camera contracts to an Arizona company, and in 2014 it was discovered that the city was shortening yellow lights at intersections with red light cameras. 

Last March, in the midst of a heated runoff election against Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city would remove 50 red light cameras at 25 intersections across town, which was a direct response to Garcia's claim that he would eradicate them altogether. 

But that reduction in camera locations didn't lead to a decrease in the number of monthly red light camera violations across town. That figure actually increased, according to the city's data portal

In total, Chicago's red light cameras pinged motorists with 484,772 violations in 2015, nearly a quarter of which came from just 10 intersections. The city's most lucrative red light camera intersection, at Lake Shore Drive and Belmont (the only camera on LSD) racked up 17,427 violations last year—it was also the highest-grossing camera in 2014.

Here are the 10 worst red light camera intersections in the city for motorists in 2015, and how many violations each racked up. 


Lake Shore Drive and Belmont: 17,427 violations

Van Buren and Western: 15,835 violations

California and Diversey: 11,315 violations 

Lafayette and 87th: 11,257 violations

Stoney Island and 76th: 10,359 violations

Archer and Cicero: 10,351 violations

Wenworth and Garfield: 9,776 violations

State and 79th: 9,640 violations

Columbus and Illinois: 8,622 violations

Hollywood and Sheridan: 8,445 violations


If you're passing through one of those intersections, be wary of the cameras. With the city desperate for revenue, one shouldn't expect the red light camera program to be scaled back any time soon. For more information on the tyranny of the city's red light cameras, check out the map below for a breakdown of every location and how many violations they issued in 2015. 

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