While improving roadway design is the most effective way to change driver behavior and improve safety, enforcement and education programs can play a supporting role in reducing fatalities and serious injuries. To change drivers’ behaviors in the region, CMAP should emphasize education programs as an alternative to fines and support safety training options for drivers that receive a citation involving speeding or aggressive driving. Automated speed enforcement (ASE) through speed cameras is an effective tool that should be used more widely in the region. A review of ASE programs found fatality reductions of 17 to 71 percent. ASE can free law enforcement personnel to focus on other issues and also limits the danger of escalation from routine traffic stops. Currently, however, only the City of Chicago is authorized under state law to use ASE. IDOT can currently only use ASE in work zones.

Increasing traffic safety enforcement is a complex issue because of its historically disproportionate impact on low income and minority communities. Traffic fines can become a major source of debt and a barrier to employment for low-income residents. On the other hand, higher numbers of pedestrian and bicycle crashes occur in low income, minority communities. A limited, partial solution may be automation, which allows for traffic law enforcement while minimizing additional police interaction. It is critical to have a credible analysis of the equity impacts of the locations and numbers of potential violations from automated enforcement. Enforcement programs should be designed with equity as a crucial element, with the goal of reducing safety disparities in minority and low-income communities while also avoiding disproportionate financial burden on these same communities. Funds collected from enforcement in these communities should be directed back into locally identified safety improvements.

Action 1

Assist in analyzing the impacts of automated enforcement in the Chicago region.



Action 2

Support outreach and safety education programs in the region.


CMAP and partners

Action 3

Broaden permissions for IDOT, the Illinois State Police, the Tollway, and municipal and county agencies to implement automated speed limit enforcement programs, and agencies should work to develop automated enforcement programs.


State of Illinois