11/17/2009Illinois Lawmakers Push Red Light Camera Restrictions
Three bills pre-filed in the Illinois legislature would curb or eliminate the use of red light cameras.
A handful of Illinois state lawmakers are fighting to rein in and possibly eliminate the use of red light cameras when the legislature returns to session in January. The most ambitious proposal comes from state Senator Dan Duffy (R-Barrington) who last month introduced Senate Bill 2466 to wipe any authorization of automated ticketing machines from the statute books. Duffy complained on his website earlier this month about the corrupting influence that a UK-Israeli operator of traffic cameras has had on the statehouse.
"This company not only provides the red light cameras for much of the Chicagoland area it also lobbies for legislation to increase their business," Duffy wrote. "Redspeed uses email updates targeting specific legislators who are not voting in favor of Redspeed."
State Representative Angelo Saviano (R-Elmwood Park) has a more limited objective in mind. Last month he introduced legislation that would not ban cameras entirely, but instead would ban the most lucrative form of ticketing.
"A county or municipality, including a home rule county or municipality, may not use an automated traffic law enforcement system to provide recorded images of a motor vehicle for the purpose of issuing violations to persons driving a motor vehicle who enter an intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street," House Bill 4631 states.
Several Chicago suburbs have earned millions in revenue almost entirely from issuing right turn on red tickets with cameras. Very few accidents are ever caused by drivers making right hand turns on red after slowing, according to US Department of Transportation data (view report).
State Senator Rickey R. Hendon (D-Chicago) offered the least ambitious of the red light camera measures. His bill would prevent localities from issuing a ticket for a certain type of technical infraction.
"A county or municipality, including a home rule county or municipality, may not use an automated traffic law enforcement system to provide recorded images of a motor vehicle for the purpose of issuing violations to persons driving a motor vehicle who come to a stop one foot or less past the point where a driver is required to stop," Senate Bill 2477 states.
All three bills face an uphill battle in a legislature that has consistently expanded the use of automated ticketing over the past few years. Copies of each proposal can be found in a 200k PDF file at the source link below.