October 26, 2011 Today, the Illinois Senate gave the ‘green light’ to Mayor Emanuel’s proposal that will allow Chicago to start using cameras to ticket speeders in “safety zones,” making the tenth anniversary of the USA Patriot Act one Chicagoan’s will never forget.
Coincidentally, President George W. Bush signed the highly controversial USA Patriot Act anti-terrorism legislation which gave the government close to unlimited surveillance powers exactly ten years ago on October 26, 2001.
Mayor Emanuel cites data from recent studies conducted by the city which evidence that 25 percent of the cars driving near schools are speeding. Emanuel vows the cameras won’t be extended beyond a quarter mile of schools and parks, such as Lake Shore Drive and other areas away from schools. Mayor Emanuel insists he has no other agenda and its about keeping kids safe.
“This is all about schools and parks, I hope I get no revenue out of it” said the Mayor.
Nearly half the city would be considered part of a safety zone, where cameras will soon clock speeders and slap them with $100 tickets. An analysis by the Chicago Tribune found that the Illinois House version of the bill, introduced last week by House Speaker Michael Madigan, (D-Chicago), would have made 75 percent of the city eligible for speed cameras. However, the paper reports that on Tuesday, Speaker Madigan made adjustments to better match his version with Cullerton’s at a committee hearing.
The Chicago Sun-Times numbers suggest that 66 percent of the city is within a quarter mile of a school or park, and therefore would be equipped with speeding cameras.
As it stands, the cameras will be placed within one-eighth of a mile of the property line of schools, colleges and Park District facilities in Chicago. Speeds will be clocked between 6 am -10 pm on school days. For Chicago Parks, the cameras will be rolling from one hour before the park opens until one hour after the facilities close.
Drivers going more than five miles per hour over the speed limit would receive tickets of up to $100 via U.S. Mail. Those exceeding the speed limit by one to five miles per hour would get warnings, according to a spokeswoman from the mayors office.
Illinois Republican Senator, Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) has been a vocal critic of the Bill, calling the cameras a “blatant revenue grab by the city of Chicago.
“People in this state are sick and tired of being nickel and dimed to death,” said Duffy
Critics of the speeding camera legislation say the mayor just wants to rake in more money for the city, whatever the reasons may be -THAT it will.