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6/22/2007
Chicago Alderman Admits Cameras are for Revenue
A high-ranking Chicago alderman admits the system was installed to generate millions in revenue.

Ed Burke
A high-ranking member of the Chicago, Illinois city council admitted yesterday that the city intended its red light camera program -- which has raised $35.1 million -- to be a revenue raiser. Council Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke, 62, spoke to reporters about his plan to ban GPS navigation devices that warn motorists of nearby speed and red light cameras. During the event, reporters quizzed Burke about whether revenue was the reason for the cameras.

"Of course it is," Burke said, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. "It's budgeted in our annual appropriation ordinance. That's why all of these cameras are being installed. You can't deny the reality. The reality is people blow through these intersections and they're going to be caught and they're going to be fined... It has become a big revenue source, absolutely."

While stand-alone GPS camera detecting devices are not commonly used in the US, they are extensively used in the UK. Some automakers even offer GPS detection devices as a factory option in the European market. According to an insurance survey completed earlier this year, the devices work. After looking at one million miles of travel in corporate fleet vehicles, researchers found users of camera detectors were involved in 50 percent fewer accidents.

Source: Alderman wants to ban camera-sensing devices (Chicago Sun-Times, 6/21/2007)

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