CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge was hearing arguments Tuesday in the latest lawsuit challenging the city’s lucrative red light camera program.
The suit, filed by Chicago attorney Patrick Keating, alleges the city didn’t have proper authority from the Illinois General Assembly when it started the red light camera program more than a decade ago.
It also claims 77,000 tickets have been issued at intersections where yellow lights are less than three seconds, which the federal government’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices says should be the minimum duration of any yellow light.
The city has argued those federal standards are not legally binding, but just a recommendation from the Federal Highway Administration.
A similar lawsuit was dismissed by the Illinois Supreme Court last year, after two justices recused themselves from the case, and the rest of the court was unable to come up with the minimum four votes needed to render an opinion.
“Quite honestly, I think it was a political move, and I think that the Supreme Court pulled a move, and – as we say – snookered us,” said Mark Wallace, director of Citizens To Abolish Red Light Cameras.