Speed Cameras Get A Hearing Date Next Week
The Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, will convene at 1 PM in City Council Chambers at City Hall next Wednesday to discuss the divisive law Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing, which could have as many as 360 city intersections issuing $50 and $100 tickets for exceeding the speed limit.
The originally scheduled meeting was postponed to allow committee members to gauge constituent sentiment before meeting on the issue according to a Tribune story.
Proponents of the ordinance say they want speed cameras to reduce juvenile pedestrian crashes and deaths, while opponents feel its just another way for the city to generate much needed revenue on the backs of motorists.
But according to Manuel Galvan, spokesperson for Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th), Chair of the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, is committed to making sure all points of view get heard.
“Alderman Laurino has said she wants to be fair and impartial on this and doesn’t want to rush it through,” said Galvan. “Nobody wants another parking meter thing. At the end of the day, maybe not everyone will be in agreement but at least everyone will have had their say.”
But, according to Galvan, it is quite possible that hearings on speed cameras may take more than one hearing date to complete. Because the committee meeting doesn’t begin until 1 PM, there’s a potential hearings could go long and warrant another meeting to allow everyone’s input.
“I question whether they’ll be able to finish,” explains Galvan. “Alderman Laurino doesn’t want to take it to the full City council unless everyone has had their say and the aldermen on the committee have all weighed in. Let’s just say I would not be surprised if it does (call for another committee meeting on the subject).”
But a followup hearing may come sooner than later as Ald. Laurino has already scheduled another meeting of the committee she chairs for Friday, April 13th at 10 AM in City Council chambers according to the City Clerk’s website.
“The primary reason (for the April 13th meeting) is to handle regular business,” says Galvan. “In case of spillover (from the Wednesday meeting) they can continue it then.”
Galvan says any individuals or groups hoping to voice their opinion on the speed camera ordinance can sign up to speak before the committee before the hearings begin at City Hall.
The ordinance, if passed would allow the city to install speed camera enforcement within 1/8 of a mile of schools or parks from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, and mail fines of $50 to drivers exceeding the speed limit by 6 miles per hour or $100 fines for exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more.