Policy Documents

Report of the Inspector General's Office: Red-Light Camera Installation Audit

Joseph M. Ferguson –
May 1, 2013

A recent audit by the Chicago Inspector General’s Office concludes the city “could not substantiate a safety motive” for traffic enforcement cameras in the city. The IGO also uncovered some glaring inefficiencies in running the program. 

The ICO audit’s findings can be summarized in two simple points. According to the report:


“First, CDOT was unable to substantiate its claims that the City chose to install red-light cameras at intersections with the highest angle crash rates in order to increase safety. Neither do we know, from the information provided by CDOT, why cameras in locations with no recent angle crashes have not been relocated, nor what the City’s rationale is for the continued operation of any individual camera at any individual location.”


“Second, our audit uncovered little evidence that the overarching program strategy, guidelines, or appropriate metrics are being used to ensure the RLC program is being executed to the best benefit of the City or the general public. Specifically, we found a lack of basic recordkeeping and an alarming lack of analysis for an ongoing program that costs tens of millions of dollars a year and generates tens of millions more in revenue.”