Speed Camera Bill Zooms Through Senate


When it comes to speed cameras, things are moving very fast.

Late Wednesday, with record breaking speed the Illinois Senate passed SB 965 on a 32–24 vote.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed the initiative with both House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), but it was Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) who rushed the bill through to passage in just three days.

The bill as originally written, would have defined “Safety Zones” as any red light camera intersection within 1/4 mile of a school, park, community college or university and for enforcement to occur 24 hours a day.

Republicans were able to get some concessions and water down the bill a bit by reducing the distance of the safety zones to 1/8 of a mile and restrict the time of enforcement to 6 AM until 10 PM every day. Enforcement around parks would start an hour before the park opens and an hour after it closes.

While originally, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation 161 RLC intersections would have become speed camera equipped, under the new 1/8 mile definition 79 of Chicago’s 191 camera intersections or 41%, will pull double duty for speed enforcement.

Just like red light camera violations, automatic camera enforced speeding violations will be sent by mail but only be issued when drivers exceed the speed limit by more than 5 miles an hour. Vehicles traveling at 5 mph or under will not be subject to a ticket.

Red light cameras equipped with speed enforcement enhancements, will only be able to monitor speeding vehicles only in the range of the camera’s field of view according to CDOT’s Brian Steele.

What that exact distance is, has not been determined yet according to Steele.

Senator Dan Duffy (R-Barrington Hills), a long time opponent of red light camera enforcement and who sponsored a bill to ban them statewide last year, also vehemently opposed SB 965.

“It’s just a big money grab,” said Duffy from the floor of the state Senate in Springfield. “If it passes, it will spread everywhere (in the state).”

The bill now speeds over to the Illinois House of Representatives

9 Responses to Speed Camera Bill Zooms Through Senate

  1. BXK says:

    And more residents will be speeding out of the city and state.

  2. BXK says:

    I’d also like to know how they intend to determine the driver of the vehicle.

    As if there was really any doubt that this wouldn’t pass. All they know how to do is pass more taxes. Sen Duffy is right, it WILL spread to the rest of the state. I guarantee that is the point. They are all in it together in a grand plan to do exactly that. It will go great with our 55-65mph speed limits in the middle of cornfields. Extra great for truckers and other drivers passing through.

    And the “safety” argument makes me wanna puke. I don’t have data, but something tells me this isn’t a real huge safety problem right now. But since you can’t fine assaults or robberies or corruption using a speed camera, this gets the focus. Ya know, if we banned all cars in the city of Chicago, we would have no pedestrian injuries or deaths! Every life that can be saved must! Its for the children!! BARF.

    Honestly, the nickel-and-dime/death by 1000 cuts comments are spot on. I love this city as much as anyone. I’ve been proud to call it home. I defended it. I loved Chicago’s ability to have everything that makes a giant metropolis great, without the enormous costs you see in other comparable cities. A truly livable world-class city. But I am about on my last legs. They are taking a bigger and bigger cut in nearly every aspect of life, in the name of “safety” and “health” and “kids”, and I find it a slap in the face. Especially when they have been shown that they are utterly incapable of cutting even one small iota of the bloated government mess we have here. The ONLY thing they know how to do is take more more more and hope we don’t notice. A lot of us are noticing, and we are fed up. Within 3 years it has gone from bad to utterly out of control awful. And no signs of letting up. Taxes are one thing. Total waste of that tax money is another.

    If the rest of you want to have the state/city watch over every aspect of your lives, and take your money while fooling you into believing it is for your own good, be my guest. I will be one of those leaving to another place that doesn’t put up with even half of this BS. One of the silent thousands slowly trickling out without a whimper, without a big letter to the city and state, taking my tax-paying wallet with me. Those of you left can have fun paying your taxes/fines/fees (all taxes really) and believing that your life is better/safer/healthier for it. While the money you do pay is squandered away, those who have left will have chosen to keep the money they’ve earned and take a little responsibility for themselves instead of constantly looking to the government to give them a handout at the expense of others, and making it clear to government leaders that we don’t want their over-taxed nanny state.

    Your vote counts just as much as mine. You want this, you may get it. But there will be a point where my (and 10′s to 100′s of thousands of others) love for this city cannot hold off the hatred for being pillaged by the corrupt nanny state. It will be hard to say goodbye. But at some point sometimes you just gotta move on, remember the past, and focus on the future. Enjoy what’s left. Something tells me it won’t be as great as what once was.

  3. Pete says:

    No surprise that Illinois politicians are in a hurry to approve something that can be used to shake down the people. But the next election would certainly be interesting if a lot of drivers end up being ticketed for going 22 MPH in a school zone in July, which they will.

  4. A. Castro says:

    In response to BXK: Yes, I agree. I too am beginning to consider moving out of the city provided I have my chance… It’s a shame really. I love this city, I really do, but the morons running it are killing us. I can’t help but feel somewhat oppressed when I drive around this city. We have enough to worry about; Chicago drivers, rush hour ,crime, red-light cameras and highest gas prices in the nation, we don’t need more stress while driving…

  5. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Great input everyone on the speed cameras.

    I’m certain it will bring in all sorts of crazy revenue from fines.

    But I also believe it will generate an incredible amount of ill will toward Chicago. I have to think this policy, once the word gets out, will deter people from visiting. Especially suburbanites who are going to just decide to blow off the city and spend their money at home in or in neighboring suburbs.

    Years ago, there was very little fine dining outside the city proper. Now there are TONS of great dining experiences everywhere.

    I wonder if the lost revenue from decreased tourism will offset the revenue generated from speeding tickets?

  6. After 8 years of Chicago’s RLCS the city still hasn’t produced the promised credible survey of just how much safer we really are with red light cameras. ASE cameras will slow traffic to a crawl, delay desparately needed deliveries and the weaken the economy even more by driving businesses out to other cities and states like Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. The harder you squeeze blood out of a stone, the less blood you get. Within 2-4 years the speed cameras will permeat to the Lake Shoe Drive and the expressways. It is already been proposed to have speed cameras on O’Hare’s expressway leg. You could drive to OHare to go on vacation, get a speeding picture taken and by the time you get back in town the fine will have already doubled! NOTHING BUT A CASH GRAB-PARKING METER ON WHEELS. No government oversight agency will check ASE accuracy, they don’t for red light cameras for accuracy and the city claims they don’t have the money to perform routine scheduled traffic signal maintenance..

  7. JohnD1 says:

    I agree fully that this is one of the worst ideas that has come out of the mayor’s office. I can just imagine the disgust and hatred that will come from tickets issued at 6:30 am, on a Sunday, in July for a SCHOOL ZONE!!!!

    Why doesn’t the city simply reduce the speed limit to 15 mph throughout the city? And, even better, require a man in horseback to precede the car with a red flag?

    I do go to Chicago in my off hours (I commute in days), but only in the most dire emergencies do I drive. Metra gets me there in the Loop. Anywhere else, I simply don’t go.

  8. [...] cronies in Springfield got the bill passed in the state Senate. But it still needs to pass the Illinois [...]

  9. [...] According to The Expired Meter, SB965 passed in the state Senate suspiciously quickly. [...]

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