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NATO Summit Protester Turns Ire At Speed Cameras

Speed Cameras

This red light camera at the intersection of Peterson and California avenues could become a speed camera too if the City Council approves Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan. (Credit: CBS)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — If you followed the street protests of the past several days, you probably noticed there were a lot of axes to grind.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, among all the anti-war, anti-NATO and even anti-shrimp messages people were trying to push, retired Chicagoan Jim Gantz carried a sign reading, “Blame Rahm.”

He was protesting higher taxes, higher fees and speed cameras.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“Speed cams are super-ridiculous. In a congested city, he’s going to slow down 66 percent of the traffic? This is going to come back on him worse than the snowstorms did on anybody else,” Gantz said.

He believes the city’s hand in his pocket, with less in return, will be for Mayor Rahm Emanuel what a snowstorm was for Mayor Michael Bilandic. Bilandic lost the Democratic primary to Jane Byrne in 1979, after a snowstorm in January of that year shut down the city.

Gantz predicted major political fallout for Emanuel over the speed cameras.

“It’s going to be horrific, and I think he’ll be one term or less,” Gantz said.

The City Council last month approved the plan to install speed cameras near schools and parks.

Enforcement by the cameras cannot legally go into effect until July 1, so we all have a reprieve until then. But any intersection within 1/8 of a mile, or one city block, around schools and parks will be a candidate to receive a camera.

First-time offenders will only receive warnings for speeding violations, and nobody will receive more than a warning for the first 30 days after the cameras are turned on.

The speed camera ordinance also limits the camera use around schools to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. At parks, the cameras can only be used when parks are open — generally 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

The total number of cameras will also be limited to 300, rather than the original plan for a limit of 360. The cameras will be deployed in six different zones in the city, with no fewer than 10 percent of the cameras in any single zone.