Quinn Approves City’s Plan To Bust Speeders With Cameras

UPDATED 02/06/12 4:46 p.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the City of Chicago to use cameras to catch speeders near schools and parks.

The governor waited until the last minute to approve a measure which could blanket half the city with the automated speed traps.

The bill, S.B. 965, will go into effect July 1. It allows the city to use speed enforcement cameras with 1/8 of a mile, or one city block, around schools between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. each weekday.

The bill also allows speed enforcement cameras to be used within 1/8 of a mile around parks from one hour before the parks open to one hour after they close. This means the cameras will only be shut off between midnight and 5 a.m.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The legislation only applies to the city of Chicago.

Right now, the city has red light cameras in 79 locations within a 1/8 of a mile of a school or park. But a published report said the proposed legislation to allow speed cameras in the city showed the legislation would allow at least 47 percent of the city to be covered by the cameras – not including areas around colleges and universities.

Any motorist busted by a camera would be sent a ticket in the mail. Sponsors said the tickets would be sent to the owner of the car caught speeding. The cameras would only take photos of the speeding car’s license plate, not the driver.

The owner would be subject to a fine of up to $50 for being caught driving 6 to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Drivers going 10 miles an hour or more over the limit would be fined up to $100. Fines would be doubled if they are not paid on time and five unpaid fines would result in the loss of the owner’s driver’s license.

As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, public opinion seemed clearly against the measure, but Quinn signed it anyway, saying it was the right thing to do.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard also pushed hard to get the measure through the General Assembly

But Quinn repeatedly ducked the question of the public being firmly against the measure when he was questioned about the legislation on Monday.

“I felt that this particular legislation – as advocated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and limited to proximity of schools and parks – was in the best interest of the people of Chicago, and especially the children,” Quinn said.

Last month, 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.

Both Quinn and Emanuel have downplayed those findings. Quinn has said the calls to his office were not the same as a scientific poll of Chicago residents.

Emanuel released a statement Monday morning thanking Quinn for signing the bill.

“Since day one as mayor, my top priority has been to ensure that Chicago’s children can focus on their studies, not worry about their safety,” the mayor’s statement said in part. “We have introduced stronger curfew laws, supported after-school and safe passage programs and put more cops and crossing guards closer to our schools. I am grateful to Governor Quinn for supporting one more step in our comprehensive strategy to keep Chicago’s children safe.”

Brizard says the reasoning behind the legislation has always been protecting children.

“Children shouldn’t have to risk their lives by crossing streets with speeding cars, but they do in our city every single day,” Brizard said Monday.

Before Emanuel began his push for speed cameras last fall, Chicago was already at or near the top of the list of cities with the most red light cameras. The proposal would allow the city to use existing red light cameras and mobile cameras to catch speeders in the act within 1/8 mile of schools and parks in Chicago.

The mayor cited accident and injury statistics to justify enabling red light and mobile cameras to catch speeders at intersections near schools and parks, but the city’s own study indicated more than 50 percent of all children struck by cars are hit in the middle of the block, not at an intersection.

One of the first red light cameras that will be upgraded to detect speeders is located at the intersection of Peterson and California avenues, near Mather High School. The speed limit there when kids are around is 20 miles an hour.

Using a radar gun, CBS 2 spotted drivers going as fast as 41 miles an hour through that intersection on Monday.

Barnet Fagel, a longtime red light camera critic who calls himself, “The Ticket Doctor,” said the legislation will mean, “a lot of people are gonna spend a lot of money for invented infractions.”

When pressed on whether those infractions would be truly “invented” if the drivers are speeding, Fagel said, “that assumes that the cameras and the speed sensors are accurate, which they haven’t proven to be.”

Fagel said he’s found such systems’ measurements are off by 20 percent, which might be the legislation does not allow tickets to be issued unless drivers are going at least 6 miles per hour over the limit.

The debate over speed cameras has been raging all over the nation; from Washington, D.C., where they contributed $12 million to city coffers, to Arizona, where officials did away with them altogether.

The mayor, who has said he doesn’t care if the cameras don’t provide a dime of revenue for the city, said in a written statement Monday that, “all this requires is that drivers obey the laws near schools and parks to ensure the safety of our kids.”

State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) agreed.

“How many children have to die before you think it’s important?” Davis asked reporters.

Asked if her constituents support the legislation, Davis said, “as far as I know, it represents the will of our people, because we don’t want people in Chicago speeding around parks, we don’t want them speeding around the schools.”

Even so, many still suspect the speed cameras are simply cash cows for a cash-starved city; and projections of revenue from these cameras of more than $100 million a year don’t exactly argue otherwise.

Before enforcement with speed cameras begins, the city will conduct a 30-day public education campaign to inform drivers of the new speed cameras. Intersections with the cameras will also have signage informing drivers that the speed cameras are there.

  • Toonces

    Yes Quinn and Emanuel truly care….about what’s left in your wallet. Whatever.

    • changing to the Republican party

      EXTORTION—–CROOKS !! IM SO FED UP WITH THESE POLITICAL CROOKS… we all know that these cameras are just a form of EXTORTION. I’ve always sat back and listened to our local politicans expecting they know the best for us, but I finally realize this is ALL bull. Im voting republican next time…done with the democrats. I know little about republicans, but im certainly fed up with my fellow democratic politicans

  • Jim

    Will Quinn ever make a decision the coinsides with what the taxpayers want?

    • City Worker

      quinn has no balls 93% do not want..the ballet dancing heb, in his tutu wants more money~….quinn is a moron, he follows the corrupt band of madigan mob nd daley goons….hope he winds up in jail like the last too…his charge …being a moron with no balls!

  • PG

    91 percent of communications from taxpayers/citizens to the governors office voiced opposition to this bill, yet he signed it anyhow. I guess that it really doesn’t matter what we the people think, only the politicians opinions matter. Yet another reason why we need to vote every stinking one of these clowns out at the next available time!

  • Chicagoan

    So, as of July 1, 2012, your insurance company cannot count red light speeding tickets as a reason to raise your insurance rates!

    Ha Ha Ha Ha – too bad Allstate and State Farm.

  • Tim

    Whatever. We’re still just paying for Daly’s idiocy and backdoor self-dealing.

  • Jeff

    Pick a date and spread the word around hell I will even come over from Indiana and join in. Stop the tyranny Illinois Government is the worst in the land. That’s why I moved but I will never stop fighting for whats right in Illinois when I can.

    • Afro

      Before they removed my first post I said I hate to say act like the Occupiers but march to Rahms office in protest of this unfair practice I guess CBS likes the law.

    • Jeff

      Afro I said something along the same lines and it got removed too.

  • juju

    Better to catch Europeans molesting children.

    • Dave


  • WetNurse

    Tiny ballerina 9.5 is pulling Quinnochio’s strings again. Poor Puppet Pat can only dream of becoming a real man someday.

  • Stephen Donaldson

    Come on QUINN, LET THE VOTERS VOTE ON THIS before you mouth out that the public “support” this!

    What are you afraid of, DEMOCRACY!

  • X

    “But the city’s own study indicated more than 50 percent of all children struck by cars are hit in the middle of the block, not at an intersection.”

    That’s because of all the stupid ass lazy kids that cant walk half a block to a damn crosswalk wandering across the street oblivious with ipods in their ears.

    Gimme a break, no kid is at school til 10pm. Stinks to me of easy extra revenue money.

  • Stephen Donaldson

    http://www.lutontoday.co.uk/community/community-news/speed_cameras_serve_no_purpose_says_report_1_3490211 Quote:A new report on speed cameras in Thames Valley which will be published on Tuesday casts doubt on their effectiveness as a road safety tool.

    The report investigates the effect that speed cameras have had on the number of collisions that resulted in death or injury.

    It includes all 212 fixed camera sites – within which there are 359 Gatso-type cameras – and 105 mobile camera sites that had been operating for two or more years at the start of 2009.

    The report concludes that:

    > Speed cameras have not made any impact in preventing road traffic collisions.

    > There was no reduction in the number of collisions at fixed (Gatso) camera sites after they were installed and there was no reduction in the number of collisions at mobile camera sites after they started operating.

  • Jeff

    2 choices either sit back and let Rahm do this or march up to his office in protest. One thing Chicago does well is organize do it up people we don’t want this spread word to protest on this issue

  • Greg

    Send a message back up the chain.

    “Chicago does not belong to the Mayor but that the Mayor belongs to Chicago!”

  • Jim

    If we taxpayers want anything done in this state on our behalves we need to start a Taxpayers Union Local 101!!! It’s the only way Quinn listens!

    • George

      Yes indeed we can Unite!

  • john

    The taxpayers voted for these guys; now they must pay… cash only.

  • CFLC


  • Gary

    Bend over Quinn….Rahm is gonna rhumb you…..at 25 miles per hour…don’t get a ticket if you want it faster.
    TWO idiots loving each other…Rhamb a dum dum….

  • Gary

    To all IDIOT ILLINOIS voter who voted for this idiot….enjoy….

  • tony

    Not bad for quinn .He has done a good job at raising the state income tax[mine 1500.00 more a year]Toll road cost about 750.00 a yr for me.Comed increase about 300.00 more a yr for me.Property taxes 1200.00 more a yr for me.Not bad for his budget.Lets not forget the speed camera thing now im sure that will cost me alittle more.Gov quinn if you read these bloggs you are a sell out.iPeople have families and need every cent they could get.But you are a token to the mayor of chicago,mike madigan etc etc.you must live a lonely life in that mansion in springfield.

    • Quinn

      Our Unions and Pensions, I mean our families and children need the money more than you…pay your extra $3750+ and keep voting (D)!! I promise it will get better….bwahahahahaha!!!

  • blurb

    To Chicago residents- Get away if you can, from Chicago and Illinois as well. Don’t walk, RUUUNNNNN!!!!!!!!!

  • Albert Gazalooch

    Put speed cameras on I-55, I-57, I-70 & I-80 and Illinois debt will be wiped in half in six months. Let speeders pay the bills with their arrogance.

    • debbie s

      i agree put them on the highways we wouldnt have any debt

  • http://www.cdobs.com/archive/chicago/gov-quinn-signs-bill-to-allow-speed-cameras-near-schools-parks/ Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Gov. Quinn signs bill to allow speed cameras near schools, parks

    […] Approves City's Plan To Bust Speeders With Cameras [CBS Local]Quinn signs Emanuel speed cameras bill into law [Chicago Tribune]Gov. Quinn May OK Speed Safety […]

  • franklin808

    We need this statewide to help fund the state.

    • Idiots

      good point !! we need to help fund RAISES and bonuses to Illinois poloticians and lets not forget life-sucking welfare recipients. Lets just start taxing at a 50% and call it a day

  • Jerry

    People Lobby this mator start right now go to his office and lobby his ass

    • Jerry


  • Gary

    It’s called speed bumps…not HUMPS…as you did the voters, quintuplets….little adolph and little pitglet…enjoy your last days in office..can’t wait for election year.

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