Tag Archives: red light cameras
At least that’s what a new lawsuit filed against the Village of Tinley Park alleges.
According to the Daily Southtown, a pair of plaintiffs claim that the town setup a system that would help village employees, local politicians and friends of the politically connected have their red light connections thrown out.
The newspaper quotes the lawsuit, which says:
Chicagoans with older unpaid parking tickets, red light camera tickets and administrative hearing fines can finally catch a break on late fees and fines starting Sunday.
Facing a giant budget deficit and showing over $1.5 billion in unpaid fines from parking, red light tickets and fines for administrative citations like building code violations and drinking in public, Mayor Rahm Emanuel finally relented to calls for an amnesty program during recent budget hearings. The last amnesty was in early 2009 when Richard M. Daley was still in office.
From November 15 through December 31, the city will waive all taxes, administrative fines, penalties, interest and collection costs accrued on tickets issued before 2012.
For example, a parking ticket fine which has doubled and had interest and collection fees tacked on over the years, will be reduced to the original fine amount. With the way fees and fines add up, many people will see up to a 50 percent reduction in the amount of money they owe the city on longstanding tickets.
Unfortunately, only violations or fines from before December 31st, 2011 are eligible for the amnesty, and it only works if you pay it off in this six-week period.
Department of Finance spokesperson Molly Poppe explained that in the previous three amnesty programs, the most recent three to four years of tickets and fines were ineligible as well.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
First there was red light cameras.
Then there were speed cameras.
Now, if Alderman Brandon Reilly (42nd) has his way, there may be intersection cameras according to DNA Info.
During city council budget hearings focusing on the Department of Transportation, the downtown alderman discussed the problem of motorists who get stuck in the intersection after their traffic light turns red, thus blocking any cross traffic from moving through the intersection while the light is green. He specifically cited the intersection of Randolph and LaSalle just outside City Hall.
Shares in Redflex Traffic Systems tumbled to an all-time low of 15 cents per share September 2nd, after the firm told Australian investors that it lost $38 million in the last fiscal year. The stock price rebounded mildly this week as it was trading at 22 cents a share as of September 9th.
But shareholders likely now regret rejecting as inadequate Macquarie Bank’s bid to buy out Redflex at $2.75 a share four years ago.
The takeover bid came long before the firm’s corruption surfaced. Redflex now faces the prospect of paying Chicago, Illinois up to $300 million in penalties for lying to city officials. Under the Windy City’s “false claims” ordinance, Redflex may be held liable for denying that it was engaged in bribery, when the facts now show that it was. Former Redflex executive vice president Aaron M. Rosenberg, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court as a whistleblower with direct and independent knowledge of the bribery schemes. His filing is a formality, as Chicago has already sent notice of its intent to take over the lawsuit.
Red light cameras are not about revenue. They’re about safety.
So why is the tiny village of Lakemoor generating about one third of it’s municipal income from a single red light camera at the intersection of Route 12 and Route 120? And why are crashes actually increasing?
Lakemoor is counting on $1.8 million in red light camera fines to keep the budget of the tiny town of 6000 balanced according to the Daily Herald. In fact Lakemoor’s red light camera program is the most lucrative in the suburbs according to the newspaper.
Yet despite the immense number of tickets being issued, shockingly, crashes and injuries at that intersection are up says IDOT and the Daily Herald.
When Allen Skillicorn was elected as a village trustee in suburban East Dundee, he won running on a platform to rid of that town’s red light camera program.
This week he unveiled a video and a website that he hopes will help him put a stake in the heart of East Dundee’s red light cameras.
A local group dedicated to eradicating red light and speed cameras from Chicago streets, was able to put a few notches in their political belt during the most recent municipal elections.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras sent their pledge to abolish red light and speed cameras to all city aldermanic and mayoral candidates prior to the election. Eight of those candidates who signed the group’s pledge, won city council seats for the next four years.
Nearly 50 candidates representing races in 30 wards, and four mayoral candidates signed the group’s pledge.
“We want to congratulate newly elected on their impressive victories and express our gratitude to these champions of reform on their election to the City Council” said Mark Wallace, Director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.
The list includes three new aldermen–Susan Sadlowski-Garza, Derrick Curtis and David Moore as well as Toni Foulkes, an incumbent who was redistricted out of her current ward but won in the newly drawn 16th ward.
Next to pensions, the cameras are a close second in the top tier of issues being discussed by the candidates. Even USA Today says so.
One group who’s done an effective job of making the automated traffic enforcement cameras a hot topic is the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras. They’ve been holding protests around the city for the better part of two years and asked candidates to sign a pledge to dismantle both programs if elected.
A legal challenge to Chicago’s red light cameras was dismissed Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court — a result that came about after two judges recused themselves and the remaining four were split on the matter.
“In this case, two Justices of this Court have recused themselves and the remaining members of the Court are divided so that it is not possible to secure the constitutionally required concurrence of four judges for a decision,” the short decision states. “Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed. The effect of this dismissal is the same as an affirmance by an equally divided court of the decision under review but is of no precedential value.”
The class action lawsuit argued that all Chicago red light tickets issued between 2003 and 2006, before a state law was passed to allow red light camera enforcement in eight counties — Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, Will, McHenry and St. Clair — were invalid.
The lawsuit also contended every red light camera ticket issued in the city beyond 2006 is invalid because Chicago never drafted a new ordinance after the state enacted its red light camera law in 2006.
The city has always argued it had the right to establish the program under home rule authority.
Tuesday the court’s website announced a ruling on the case will be issued Thursday morning.
The court heard oral arguments on Keating v. City of Chicago this past May at the historic Ottawa Courthouse.
Attorney Patrick Keating filed the class action suit in 2010 in Cook County Circuit Court but it got dismissed. This ruling was upheld by the Appellate Court in 2013 and then promptly appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.