Exclusive: Speed Camera Ordinance To Be Introduced At Wednesday’s City Council Meeting
Alderman: Goal To Have Cameras Around 1800 Schools & Parks
Or you may miss Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s speed camera ordinance whizzing through the city council.
According to 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack, the ordinance will be introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
Late Friday, alderman were asked to be at special closed door briefing sessions Monday morning to get more details on the proposed speed camera ordinance.
The Illinois state law allowing Chicago to utilize speed camera enforcement was passed by the General Assembly last November and then signed into law just over a month ago by Gov. Pat Quinn.
But a local ordinance must be adopted first before the city can proceed with installing speed cameras.
Originally, city officials claimed existing red light camera locations would be utilized to do double duty and be retrofitted to also do speed enforcement.
But, according to Waguespack’s understanding of the briefing presented by officials from the Mayor’s office, Chicago Police Department and Chicago Department of Transportation, the city’s long range goal is to install speed cameras at 1800 intersections near school and parks under the auspices of slowing down drivers through $50 to $100 fines for speeding near these intersections. The state law calls for cameras to be used within a 1/8 of a mile safety zone surrounding the schools and parks.
While Waguespack says, while the speed enforcement will be from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM (9 PM on Friday) the cameras will be filming 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be utilized as a surveillance camera much like the blue light cameras the Chicago Police use to deter crime in high crime areas of the city.
“Essentially this is what they’ll become,” was Waguespack’s takeaway regarding the big brother aspect of the cameras from Monday morning’s briefing.
Waguespack, who is opposed to the plan says the revenue aspect of the speed camera program was also discussed.
“They definitely feel that’s (revenue) is a good aspect,” said Waguespack. “But it’s all about safety man, c’mon!”