Governor Quinn’s Office Seeing Strong Opposition To Chicago Speed Camera Bill

Public Response To SB965 Oppose Bill By 9-1 Margin

People really don’t like Illinois Senate Bill 965.

SB965, also known as the Chicago speed camera bill, would allow the city to begin utilizing its red light camera system to do double duty issuing speeding tickets via the U.S. mail within 1/8 of a mile of a school or park.

But based on constituent feedback received by the Governor’s office, there is strong public opposition to the bill with public sentiment against the legislation heavily outweighing support by a 9-1 margin.

The Governor’s office released a report via a Freedom of Information request by The Expired Meter, that shows the Governor’s office has received a total of 224 phone calls, emails or letters from constituents regarding SB965, of which just 19 were in support of the bill. The other 205–over 91%–were opposed to the bill and urged the Governor to veto it.

In total the Governor’s office received 15 letters (11 opposed, 4 in support), 36 phone calls (35 opposed, 1 in support) and 173 email comments via the Governor’s website (159 opposed, 14 in support).

“I think that’s fantastic, but I’m not surprised.” said Cook County Campaign For Liberty’s Scott Davis about the public response to the bill. “People know speed cameras are not about safety, but about revenue.”

Perhaps the question is, how much does input from the public have on Governor Quinn’s final decision?

“I can tell you that the Governor is reviewing this legislation very carefully,” says Annie Thompson, spokesperson for the Governor’s office. “Public response is one of those (factors involved in the decision) and the Governor always wants to do what’s in the best interest of the people of Illinois.”

Governor Quinn promised to make a decision on whether he would sign or veto the bill ,which has been sitting on his desk since December 8th, by the end of January. Legally, the Governor has 60 days–until February 6th–to either sign or veto the bill.

While Quinn has kept mum on which way he’s leaning, it may be hard for the Governor to sign this bill when public sentiment is strongly opposed to seeing automated speed camera enforcement on the streets of Chicago.

Davis, who’s group is opposed to any sort of automated camera enforcement, thinks this may bode well for a veto of the bill because drivers will see the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars raised by the speeding tickets to be seen as increasing taxes as reported by this website in November.

“If he (Quinn) raises taxes on the poor and middle class by passing this bill, and gives tax breaks to companies like Sears, it’s not going to sit well with voters,” explains Davis. “Because he’s going to feel the political pressure when he’s up for re-election.”

The bill, passed the Illinois State Senate on October 26th and the State House on November 9th, was pushed through the General Assembly in breakneck speed by Chicago Mayor Rahm who claims the legislation will improve safety for juvenile pedestrians, while critics say it’s just a multimillion dollar revenue grab.

Chicago could equip up to 79 red light camera intersections with speed camera enforcement within 1/8 of a mile from a school or park or even deploy mobile vans in these zones to catch speeders.

Drivers caught at these camera enforced intersections exceeding the speed limit between 5 and under 11 mph would pay a $50 fine, while drivers exceeding 11 mph would be fined the original $100.

Enforcement hours around schools will only allow speed cameras to operate between 6 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday and from 6 AM to 9:00 PM on Fridays. No enforcement would occur on weekends.

RLC intersections within 1/8 of a mile of park district safety zones would have enforcement from one hour before the park opened until one hour after the park closed during weekdays.

Quinn is expected to make his decision on SB965 by Tuesday.

21 Responses to Governor Quinn’s Office Seeing Strong Opposition To Chicago Speed Camera Bill

  1. Pete says:

    Anyone who drives in Chicago and supports speed cameras was truly born yesterday. As if the potential for abuse is not endless.

  2. Brian says:

    Great artcle! I hope people call and email the governor TODAY to get this vetoed.

  3. [...] find out how close Quinn is to signing the measure — and how the public feels about it. This is what they discovered: The Governor’s office released a report via a Freedom of Information request by The Expired [...]

  4. Anyone who cares about traffic safety, fairness, and their own wallet will contact the Governor to ask him NOT to sign this.
    Speed cameras are about revenue, NOT safety, and only produce much money when the posted limits are deliberately and maliciously set well below the 85th percentile speed level that maximizes safety and minimizes accidents. It takes deliberately improper engineering to make speed cameras profitable by using artificially low posted speed limits that reduce safety for all road users.
    See the science on our website. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, http://www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI (frequent visitor to Chicagoland)

  5. [...] find out how close Quinn is to signing the measure — and how the public feels about it. This is what they discovered: The Governor’s office released a report via a Freedom of Information request by The Expired [...]

  6. glg says:

    If it was 224,000 callers, then it might make a difference. 224? not so much. with that little interest in an issue, it’s just going to be horse trading that decides

  7. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    GLG,

    Certainly, this is not anywhere near what one could consider scientific polling data. However, it does present a snapshot of the temperature of the public. My guess is many bills awaiting the Guv’s signature or veto get a similar amount of total calls/emails/letters.

    And, despite how unscientific this data is, my guess is politicians have a calculus on how to objectively weigh this public input.

  8. glg says:

    Oh, I wasn’t really saying it wasn’t a poll, more that a couple hundred calls over a month and a half isn’t really saying much (contrast it to congresspeople getting thousands and thousands of calls and emails about SOPA/PIPA a couple weeks back). Seems like it’s a number that is small enough the governor can easily ignore it.

  9. [...] Three months later, it appears most people remain skeptical. A Freedom of Information request that Brockway issued to the governor’s office might explain Quinn… [...]

  10. When you think about it, red light & speed cameras are another form of METRA fare increase, 87% tollway ripoff or gas price boost more motorist without any service improvement or safety benefit. In fact cameras are a safety detriment.

  11. [...] The Expired Meter website issued a Freedom of Information request on all calls, emails and letters from the public to the governor’s office about the legislation and found that of 224 calls, letters and emails about the speed camera bill, 91 percent were opposed to it. [...]

  12. [...] the governor reviewed the legislation, The Expired Meter reported last week that his office received a public response vocally opposed to it — specifically, more than 90 percent of those who contacted his office about the bill said [...]

  13. [...] the governor reviewed the legislation, The Expired Meter reported last week that his office received a public response vocally opposed to it — specifically, more than 90 percent of those who contacted his office about the bill said [...]

  14. [...] the governor reviewed the legislation, The Expired Meter reported last week that his office received a public response vocally opposed to it — specifically, more than 90 percent of those who contacted his office about the bill said [...]

  15. Klaats says:

    What I’d really like to see is cameras that capture people talking/texting while driving. Talk about a GOLD MINE for the city. And, it’s FAR more dangerous than someone going 5 miles over the limit in a school zone.

  16. [...] The Expired Meter website issued a Freedom of Information request on all calls, emails and letters from the public to the governor’s office about the legislation and found that of 224 calls, letters and emails about the speed camera bill, 91 percent were opposed to it. [...]

  17. [...] The Expired Meter website issued a Freedom of Information request on all calls, emails and letters from the public to the governor’s office about the legislation and found that of 224 calls, letters and emails about the speed camera bill, 91 percent were opposed to it. [...]

  18. 12th district State Senator candidate Raul Montes, Jr. had a press conference and protest against the expansion of Red-light photo enforced cameras speed bill( Illinois Senate Bill 965). His opponent Senator Steven Landek and mayor of Bridgeview voted in favor of the camera bill in the Senate. It is a regressive tax on families. It is a money maker and greed. These cameras are rigged in everyway. It is a decoy to generate money in this bad economy. Raul Montes did what was in the best interest of the people of the State of Illinois. It was a 9-1 margin vote against the cameras. Pat Quinn is a rubber stamp for Rahm Emanuel. Quinn cannot stand his ground to do what he wants and is a puppet. He failed to do what the people of Illinois wanted. Many people called Pat Quinns office, emailed and send letters opposing the bill. He ignored the people’s wishes .Where is democracy and transparency? There are other alternatives like speed bumps, crossing guards, surveillance cameras instead of another tax to make money.

  19. [...] Emanuel pushed for the legislation’s approval despite overwhelmingly negative feedback from voters. A Huffington Post poll on the topic found roughly 87 percent of respondents opposed the plan, and The Expired Meter reported that more than 90 percent of calls fielded by Quinn’s office about the bill were against it. [...]

  20. [...] Emanuel pushed for the legislation’s approval despite overwhelmingly negative feedback from voters. A Huffington Post poll on the topic found roughly 87 percent of respondents opposed the plan, and The Expired Meter reported that more than 90 percent of calls fielded by Quinn’s office about the bill were against it. [...]

  21. [...] Emanuel pushed for the legislation’s approval despite overwhelmingly negative feedback from voters. A Huffington Post poll on the topic found roughly 87 percent of respondents opposed the plan, and The Expired Meter reported that more than 90 percent of calls fielded by Quinn’s office about the bill were against it. [...]

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