Red Light Camera Opponents ‘Roadtrip’ To Springfield For Hearings Tuesday

Influence Of Lobbyists A Concern To Some

Red light cameras will be the issue at hand Tuesday in Springfield at hearings to discuss the controversial matter.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Martin Sandoval set the hearings last Wednesday.

Now some Chicago area drivers are planning a road trip to our state’s capital to have their say on this contentious issue.

Scott Tucker, a local anti-red light camera activist and GOP nominee for state representative in the 11th district, is the primary organizer of the convoy and has set up a Facebook event page to promote the event.

“The red light camera lobbyists are paid to be there because it’s their place of business,” said Tucker. “But ordinary citizens have to take a day off work to be there.”

“I think it will be a big turnout,” said state Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington), who is the primary sponsor of SB 2466, a bill to ban all RLCs in Illinois. “I’m excited a lot of people are coming to speak out.”

According to Duffy, several experts on the subject are scheduled to testify. This includes Brian Costin of the Illinois Policy Institute who, through the Schaumburg Freedom Coalition helped shut down red light cameras in that suburb. Also, civil engineer Matthew Gauntt, who consulted IDOT on the red light camera issue back in 2005 and recommended against the technology, will be on hand to weigh in on the issue.

Duffy explains that he will present all the anti-red light camera speakers and Sen. John Millner (R-Bloomingdale) will introduce the supporters of RLC enforcement.

According to Duffy, this list will include representatives of the red light camera companies.

Ever since SB 2466 and four other less extreme bills began bouncing around the state capital, lobbying on behalf of red light camera companies seems to have increased dramatically.

“Since we proposed the bill, they’ve (red light camera companies) have been pumping in the money to make their case,” explained Duffy.

In fact, RedSpeed Illinois, which has many suburban municipalities as clients, had two registered lobbyists in 2007, bumped up that number to four registered lobbyists working on their behalf by the end of 2009. Redflex, which has the exclusive account for Chicago’s red light camera system, increased their registered lobbyists from one in 2008 to three by the end of 2009.

But Sen. Duffy seems more fearful of Chicago’s ability to pull strings on bills restricting red light cameras. Chicago, who’s red light camera program generated nearly $59 million in revenue in 2009 from red light cameras, has a lot to lose if red light cameras get banned or restricted in some way.

“I think the City of Chicago is the biggest influence (on this issue),” says Duffy. “Chicago doesn’t want to budge on anything.”

Despite this powerful and well funded opposition to his bill, Duffy remains upbeat.

“I feel good about our chances,” says Duffy. “I don’t see how some bill in some form or another will get out. ”

Another road tripper, Matt Harrington, former Democratic party operative and now running for Illinois state representative in the 11th district, doesn’t share Sen. Duffy’s optimism on red light legislation.

“Less than 20%,” says Harrington about the chances of SB 2466 getting to the floor of the Senate, at least in it’s purest form. “There needs to be a march on Springfield–that’s what it needs to take.”

In the meantime, Tucker, Harrington and others are working to convince as many people as possible to travel to Springfield to testify and putting the finishing touches on organizing the convoy to Springfield.

“The only thing that speaks louder than lobbyist dollars are people who make the trip on Tuesday,” explained Tucker.

The road trip will depart from Lakeshore Drive and 31st street at noon, after a short press conference at 11:30.

The Chicago contingent will meet up with other drivers outside of Channahon around 1 PM, at the carpool lot at exit 248 off I-55 South. The car caravan will depart Channahon at 2 PM, after another short press conference for area media.

The anti-red light camera convoy hopes to be down in Springfield by late afternoon and at the capital for testimony at 6 PM.

Sub-committee hearings on red light cameras will take place Tuesday, March 2nd at approximately 6:01 (after the Transportation Committee meeting finishes)  in room 400 of the State Capital Building.

For more information on the red light camera road trip, check out their Facebook event site.

3 Responses to Red Light Camera Opponents ‘Roadtrip’ To Springfield For Hearings Tuesday

  1. [...] here to see the original: 'Roadtrip' Heads To Red Light Camera Hearings In Springfield … Tags: Activist, advertising, carpool, chicago, Convoy, Gop, Gop Nominee, issue, light, [...]

  2. Susan Stolz says:

    I thought the intersection cameras would be a great thing, but once again our local politicians found a way to mess it up! We got a $100.00 ticket, in the mail, for turning right on red at an intersection we are not familiar with. Could we plead our case..no. Were we guilty, yep, I guess so. However!! If the sign had been posted in a prominent place, we would not have turned right on red! If these cameras continue, how about requiring the NROR signs to be placed next to the overhead lights visible for all to see???

    Let the Yellow light stay on a fair amount of time and then long enough to catch the ones flying through on the yellow with a camera that snaps the picture at the time the car is in the intersection when the light is red. Maybe record their speed to see if they are following the motto “Red, stop! Green, Go! Yellow, Go Like Hell!!!!

  3. israeli red light cameras attacking americans says:

    BOTTOM LINE=

    EITHER EXPAND THE RED LIGHT CAMERAS TO **ALL OF** SMALL TOWN AND DOWNSTATE ILLINOIS, or GET RID OF THEM.

    We have a legislature that is voting on a matter which drags in massive revenue under devious circumstances from those who are NOT THEIR OWN constituents. Only the residents of the chicago area get harmed by these Israeli companies cameras..

    If downstate residents dont fall under the same jeopardy, there ”representatives” should have no say, either way in this issue. Currently the downstate democrat hacks in illinois are happy to see revenue generated by harming those who DONT elect them..

    No downstate legislator should be allowed to cast a vote on a issue like redlight cameras, as their areas are exempted from the law allowing the cameras in the chicago area. Its rediculous to expect any less from ILLINOIS corrupt loser politicians, but these animals have sunk to a new low..
    Im leaving Illinois.. go find jobs for those I use to employ you crooked scum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>