7/13/2005Illinois Freeway Speed Cameras Delayed
Contract delays put nation's first highway photo radar program on hold until August.
Contract problems have delayed the deployment of speed cameras on Illinois freeways at least a month. The lucrative program, which incorporates the highest photo-ticket fines in the country, is now not scheduled to begin operation until August. Drivers on a single freeway trip could end up finding a bill for $1375 in the mail weeks later and face a 90 day license suspension as well as significantly higher insurance rates if they take their eyes off their speedometer while traveling through a pair of freeway "work zones" where the speed limit has been lowered by 10 MPH.
Illinois will pay a for-profit contractor to operate camera vans to generate the tickets. Initially, the program will use one van in the Chicago area on the Dan Ryan and Kingery Expressways while a second van issues tickets in the rest of the state. Program officials hope to use profits from the program to lease additional vans. Officials have also said they have no problem placing one van a few miles down the road from another.
Under a new Illinois law, the fine for the first speed camera violation is $375 and the second is $1000 with a 90-day license suspension. Both offenses carry license demerit points that allow insurance companies to raise rates significantly.
"We said we wanted to start in July, but sometimes things just take a little longer," said Matt Vanover, of the Illinois Department of Transportation. "We're trying to work through the contract details."Source: Illinois delays photographic highway ticketing program (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/12/2005)
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