Alderman Questions Plan To Use Cameras To Catch Speeders

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to use cameras to catch speeders near schools and parks might have run into a minor roadblock.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Gov. Pat Quinn has already approved legislation authorizing the increased use of speed cameras, but the City Council also must approve the plan.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) does not argue with the use of red-light cameras to catch speeders. But he says the use of the cameras should be limited to the hours when children are around, and thus, the cameras should be turned off at 4 p.m.

Beale also thinks there should be a rising scale on the fines.

“What we have to make sure of, first and foremost, is public safety – making sure our kids are safe around schools and parks. Nobody is going to argue that point,” Beale said. “But at the same time, we can’t just continue to hammer people every single day.”

In responding to Beale’s comments, Mayor Emanuel invoked the fact that he is the son of a pediatrician.

“The victim is a child hit by a car going 10 to 15 miles an hour near a school zone,” Emanuel said. “The victim is not a speeder.”

Beale is on the City Council Transportation Committee, which must approve the legislation before it moves to the full Council.

The state bill approved earlier this month will allow 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.

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.

  • Tom

    These cameras are nothing more than revenue generator for the city.
    Instead of leaving the cameras on for such a long period of time, why not turn them on at dawn and off at curfew. This would be when the children are outside.

    I know one thing, my days of driving into the city will come to an end.


      Our crooked city can not comply with these terms otherwise how else will they generate money to fill the gaps in the budget. This is simply EXTORTION

  • FC

    A total complete SCAM. Let’s be real; the city is looking at it from the revenue standpoint and not from the safety of children. If so, let’s have the cameras monitoring all these neighborhoods where women are being raped, children are being killed, and people are getting robbed. Why don’ t we think of that first? Of course not; that would not be generating revenue. Silly us for thinking that senselessly.


      I couldnt agree with you more. I wish there was honest politician out there that can REALLY make a difference and stop all thsi corruption.

      • Afro

        They wouldn’t let him get voted in if their were, You should see how they treat Ron Paul

  • Amy Andersen

    If children’s safety were really the mayor’s first concern, he would put speed bumps in all the neighborhoods near schools. They effectively slow cars down and force drivers to be attentive. But since they don’t generate a penny of revenue, I’m sure they were never even considered. Just another tax on top of everything else. Glad I live in the suburbs.


      As much as I dislike speed humps, it would certainly MAKE me stop or slow down. I ticket will not stop a car from striking a student. What a disgrace for the city of Chicago. TIME TO MOVE

    • Shemp Howards Ghost

      Amy, you are 100% correct..they have speed bumps around the schools in my suburb and they work just fine..just another money grab by Der Fuhrer Emmanuel..

  • Just Axin

    What? One of the many puppet aldermen speaks up? Let’s see how many oppose this. Now would be a good time to let your alderman know how you feel. These politicians know that there are alot of idiots out there who fall for the “if it saves one child’s life” horsesh!t line.


    All alderman are puppets !! Its US the people that need to control the strings. CALL YOUR LOCAL ALDERMAN. Then call em’ again and continue to do so until you get what you need in your community

  • Afro

    The Alderman are supposed to be elected officials who represent the people to the Mayor. The Mayor totes these guys like puppets and they have all become enemies of the people. Mayor Emanuel is their master, he is a master of puppets, He walks out of his office looking like AL Capone and sends his puppets out to vote on the next shake down technique.

    I’m glad I don’t live in Chi

    The only thing Chicago’s Alderman can’t seem to agree on is who is going be the next on their knees for their King.

    • Afro

      and to think this was posted by someone who doesn’t even live here in Chicago

  • Untold Truth

    The issuing of moving violation was to police and to remove negligent drivers from the roadway. Prior to the politician mad rush for free revenue, if you received 3 moving violation, example; red light violations or speeding, within a 12 month period you could lose you privilege to operate a motor vehicle. Running a red light or/and speeding presents a clear and immediate danger to other motorist and pedestrian, obvious negligence! Now, GREED, is the motivating factor in enforcing traffic law. Loan your car to a friend, a workman who has job, attends church on Sunday, and just needs you car to get to work. Without your knowledge that friend that has racked up 5 violations in a 1 month period in your car. Nonetheless, this is your friend and he pays the ticket. However, clearly this is a person who lacks the maturity to operate a 3000lbs machine in public. Yet, he is far more dangerous then a thug in Englewood with a 9mm handgun with 2 extra clips. Comes to find out, in a rush, this person, hits a child in school zone. If the person, who had the 5 red light violations, had been ticketed, they would not have been driving. Unbeknown to you, they had, also been ticketed 10 times in the previous month. Now, will you loan your car to someone who has no licenses. Now who should be responsible for medical and financially support of the injured child. The politician who created for greed the failure to support the true laws of the road? The owner who faithfully loaned his car? Or the negligent driver? I am suing the city, they created the problem!

  • Tony

    States like Arizona and California have tried cameras. They found out that they are expensive to maintain and often do not generate income as expected. Once people know where they are, they hit the brakes. Additional problems have been reported upon the expensive maintenance and support contracts that go along with these devices. Finally, every time LA would put one of these cameras up, someone would intentionally break the device. It sounds like Chicago should cut some programs instead of trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. Maybe this time around they can skip the whole act of threatening to cut the Police and Firemen jobs first.

  • Afro

    They don’t ticket the law breaker anyways they just go after who ever owns the car. That’s not justice and it’s not safety, it’s about creating criminals!

  • when possible BOYCOTT CHICAGO!!!

    I don’t do ANY business in Chicago. Not anymore. I do ALL of my shopping,dining out and hanging out in the SUBURBS. I suggest (when and if possible) that all of you do the same. I know it isn’t possible for those unfortunate enough to be comletely in the city but those of us who are either on the outskirts OR completely in the suburbs can BOYCOTT CHICAGO!!! Don’t shop there ,don’t eat there,etc. TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE! Show that arrogant shifty eyed crook what he can do with his lies AND his cameras!!!

  • Bucktown Resident

    This is clearly about revenue generation. If you want to ‘protect the children’ one needs to go over a few blocks from the lighted intersections. Take for example Hoyne from North up to Fullerton. You pass next to two schools and you would think it’s the Indy 500 during the afternoon commute. Everyone flying down the street at what has to be damn near 35 and going through stop signs at 10. Not to mention high on road rage if you get in their way. It’s obvious they don’t live here just trying to avoid the traffic on Western and Damen along with the red light cameras. It’s a residential street with stop signs every block. There should be NO aggressive driving, but there is.

  • B

    If these cameras are bout safety and not revenue, then take the moneys generated from the cameras and put it towards the police and fire pensions that the city have underfunded and robbed from. Because, if it is about safety then at least the money will go towards the people who keep the city safe.

  • Dagobert II

    What happens when enough people just don’t pay the scam and realize that their motor vehicles operate just as well without licenses? What happens when the people realize that an angle grinder can remove any boot and they can shoot at least as well as the police? It sounds like its time to feed the roots of the tree of liberty in Chicago.

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