Sen. Sandoval Promises Public Hearings On Red Light Cameras

For many Illinois drivers, Tuesday was an anxious day.

The Illinois Senate’s Traffic Committee was planning some sort of action on SB2466, Sen. Dan Duffy’s (R-Lake Barrington) bill to ban all red light and speed cameras in the state.

But instead of the obvious two choices of either moving it the bill to the floor of the Senate for debate and a vote, or allowing it to die in committee, the somewhat anti-climatic door number three opened up.

Traffic Committee chairman, Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Ciciero) opted to create a red light camera subcommittee and promised public hearings on SB2466 and the two other red light camera bills currently in the Senate in the next two weeks.

Usually, having a piece of proposed legislation relegated to a sub-committee means death for the bill, but perhaps not in this case.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Sen. Duffy explaining that Sen. Sandoval promised hearings because of all the phone calls his office had been receiving on the legislation.

Scott Tucker, the Republican nominee for State Representative in the 11th District, and lead organizer of last Sunday’s anti-red light camera protest, was upbeat about Sandoval’s announcement.

“They received so many calls from our protest fliers and media appearances, it forced them to have public hearings,” said Tucker. “Sen. Sandoval promised on the record to have public hearings within the next two weeks.

Despite the promise of hearings Sen. Duffy knows it’s still going to be difficult to have his bill ultimately passed, especially when it involves the city of Chicago that generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue from RLCs.

“The biggest opposition is coming from Chicago,” explained Duffy. “But, if the Machine really wanted to strong arm me it would already be dead.”

But Sen. Duffy is cautiously optimistic of potential success.

“I think my chances are good if I get a good turnout at the hearings,” said Sen. Duffy. “We need as much notice as possible for people to storm the capital.”

Both Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago) and Sen. John Millner, (R-Carol Stream) are sponsors of alternative red light camera legislation which would be included in the hearings. Neither, however, are as far reaching as Duffy’s bill.

Hendon’s essentially will allow drivers to exceed the stop line up to one foot before a RLC ticket could be issued and Millner’s bill standardize yellow light times, and would demand cameras to be painted yellow to make them more visible to drivers. In addition, only police officers could review video footage of alleged RLC violations and issue tickets instead of non-police technicians.

Red light camera subcommittee assignments will be assigned next week, with hearings most likely taking place the week after that.

8 Responses to Sen. Sandoval Promises Public Hearings On Red Light Cameras

  1. Jeff says:

    Whaaaat? I thought police already had to review any video that resulted in a violation being mailed out? I thought the process was as follows: The technician basically discards all the obvious non-violations (like, the driver actually did stop, etc.). Then the remainder are sent to the police for final review (who may throw some more out). Is that not the case?

  2. idcsys says:

    In May 2008, the city of Minneapolis was ordered to refund 2.6 million dollars to motorists ticketed because of their red light photo enforcement policy. As written in StarTribune.com, “The city’s photo surveillance program used images of vehicles that ran red lights to cite the owner of the vehicle. The Minnesota Supreme Court last year backed lower courts, which had ruled that holding the owner of a vehicle responsible for the actions of whoever was driving it was unconstitutional.”

  3. Ross says:

    Should we standardize the rules for RLCs? Yes. Should the rules be fair and consistent? Yes. Should we get rid of the RLCs? Absolutely not.

    Dan Duffy’s constituents can stuff it. Lake Barrington? Please. Suburbanites in their Hummers who speed, run stop signs and red lights, and generally treat city people like ants can STAY in Lake Barrington, as far as I’m concerned. The median household income for Lake Barrington in 2008 was $125,515. This is typical of selfish suburban Republicans – give me all the services I deserve, but don’t tax me to pay for them (“keep your government hands off my Medicare!” one said).

    RLC’s are a tax on these people, no doubt. But keep in mind that Chicago parks are free to all (and used by all), while most suburbs require drivers to be residents to park their cars in the parking lots. City people aren’t even allowed to park there! Think suburban cops don’t target city people? think again.

    Look, if you’re driving into the city to do business, then respect the city. Respect the people who live there. There are A LOT more pedestrians and bicyclists in the city, and they deserve some modicum of safety. Why is stopping at a red light so hard for folks in Lake Barrington? Do they stop at their own red lights?

  4. Jim says:

    If the bill banning red light cameras in Illinois passed, Daley would have Chicago secede from the rest of Illinois.

  5. Greg says:

    “idcsys says:
    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    In May 2008, the city of Minneapolis was ordered to refund 2.6 million dollars to motorists ticketed because of their red light photo enforcement policy. As written in StarTribune.com, “The city’s photo surveillance program used images of vehicles that ran red lights to cite the owner of the vehicle. The Minnesota Supreme Court last year backed lower courts, which had ruled that holding the owner of a vehicle responsible for the actions of whoever was driving it was unconstitutional.””

    I often wondered how a city can get away with this.

    Isn’t running a red light a moving violation? I thought moving violations ticket the person, not the vehicle?

    I’m very surprised no one ever question this in the debate.

    Damn, would I love to see someone file a class action suit on this and see how it played out in Chicago and the burbs that use them.

  6. DoR Employee says:

    Ross has a great point…

    Oak Park is a great example….Right on the Austin border.

    Oak Park will ticket anyone that parks on a city street after a certain point in the night…I think 10pm until 6am.

    The residents all flock to the Chicago streets and clog the RP and non-RP streets.

    Screw the subbies!

    And Greg………you are absolutely correct. It is a moving violation that is supposed to cost you 2 or 3 points on your license in most states. Yellow light actually means “Slow in preparation to Stop” Not “Speed the fuck up to make the light”.

    But Oh….you’d need police officers that actually enforce Traffic Laws regularly instead of when they get told to by a Sgt or Lt cause someone got hurt at “Intersection Y.”

  7. Greg says:

    “DoR Employee says:

    And Greg………you are absolutely correct. It is a moving violation that is supposed to cost you 2 or 3 points on your license in most states. Yellow light actually means “Slow in preparation to Stop” Not “Speed the fuck up to make the light”.”

    Then how do they get away with ticketing the owner of the car if the ticket is a moving violation that is suppose to go against the driver’s record?

  8. Bill says:

    I dont care who proposed this bill Im all for getting rid of red light cameras. It is all about the money….generating revenue.

    I’ve had idiots slam on their brakes in front of me when the light turns yellow. I’ve had those same idiots swerve into my lane in front of me to avoid a car in front of them in their lane, but almos hit me. I’ve been blinded by those same cameras flashing at nothing at night across from me….they are really bright! I’ve seen cars floor it when the light turns yellow.

    These things are safety issues. they create a situation that causes motorists to do unsafe things to avoid the cameras. I dont think they are a value to the city and as a resident of the city of chicago…..i say get rid of them right along with the uber expensive parking meters. Both invented to screw the citizen out of hard earned cash.

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