7/26/2005Chicago Aldermen Push for Speed Cameras
Aldermen in Chicago, Illinois want to expand the profitable traffic camera program to include photo radar.
Excited by the revenue potential, Chicago aldermen are looking to force Mayor Richard Daley to expedite his plans to install speed cameras on city streets. To date, Chicago's year-and-a-half old red light camera program has generated $18 million in revenue. Over the past few years, Chicago's alderman paved the way for speed camera enforcement by lowering speed limits on residential streets. A vendor test indicated the city could make $13,140 per hour on Western Ave. alone.
The city has also installed 1200 speed bumps on 400 streets, but the city officials say that's not enough. Although the city's twenty red light cameras operated by Australian vendor Redflex could be converted to issue speeding tickets, Alderman Tom Allen's preference is to have the Australian company run ten speed camera vans to issue citations in each of Chicago's ten wards. Each photo ticket would generate a $90 civil penalty for the city, unlike the speed cameras operated on behalf of the state of Illinois on freeways which will soon generate $375 in revenue on the first offense and $1000 on the second, with license demerit points.
"The best way to stop drivers from speeding in school zones or just speeding generally is to have a real live policeman stop 'em . . . pull 'em over, give 'em a ticket, send 'em on [their] way. But, we're living in a fantasy world. It doesn't happen. . . . There's one traffic radar car in the whole city. . . .So, I say robo-cop is better than no cop," Allen said.Source: Aldermen set sights on residential speeders (Chicago Sun-Times, 7/26/2005)
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