Cullerton’s Red Light Camera ‘Reform’ Bill Passes Senate
The Illinois state Senate passed President John Cullerton’s (D-Chicago) red light camera reform bill Thursday.
The controversial bill, according to anti-red light activists doesn’t do enough to truly reform the use of RLC technology by municipalities, had 45 yea votes and 10 nay votes.
Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) who had sponsored a draconian bill banning all red light cameras in the state, was one of those no votes because he felt Cullerton’s bill was too watered down.
Anti-red light camera proponents have been publicly critical of the bill.
“This bill is designed to maintain the cash cow status quo Chicago realizes from gouging city motorists since 2003,” says Barnet Fagel, traffic safety researcher for the National Motorists Association. “The bill does absolutely nothing to improve safety, but actually attempts mislead the public. The bill is not to designed to make the public safer, it’s designed to make some privileged people richer.”
The bill’s language was put together earlier in the month in Cullerton’s office with sponsors of other RLC bills and the assistance of three lobbyists working on behalf of Red Speed Illinois, Redflex, both red light camera companies and the City of Chicago.
In general, the bill codifies what is already current policy for municipality RLC programs.
The only changes of any consequence are few. One is the preventing drivers who make a complete stop while turning right on red from getting ticketed if they exceed the pavement stop bar as long as they don’t enter the intersection.
Another is mandating sworn police officers must review all alleged violations. However, Chicago is exempted from this rule.
Finally, municipalities cannot tack on additional fees if motorists decide to contest their RLC ticket. Again, Chicago has never embraced this policy.
The bill now moves on to the Illinois General Assembly.