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Illinois Traffic

Illinois Legislature: Senator John Millner Pushes Red Light Camera Bill, Claims Public Safety Boosted; Senator Dave Syverson Disagrees

State Senator John Millner

(Springfield, IL) — February 10, 2010. Red light cameras may be coming to an intersection near you.

State Senator John Millner (R-St. Charles) has introduced legislation streamlining operation of the cameras. Currently, only Chicago and nearby counties use the traffic-control tools.

“The whole point of this legislation is to reduce traffic violations,” Millner said.

“We’re saying here today that red light cameras do improve public safety, but we really believe there needs to be some common-sense additions to this legislation so it’s fair for everyone.”

The proposal would standardize regulations for yellow-light times and stops before an intersection, as well as call for cameras to be painted yellow so they are more visible to drivers.

Additionally, the cameras must be monitored by a police officer before a ticket is issued, and communities would be required to post the locations of red light cameras on their Web sites.

Several suburban police chiefs joined Millner in support of the initiative.

Westchester Police Chief Matthew Evans said the cameras have reduced traffic accidents 29 percent in several western suburbs since they were implemented in his community.

“There is discretion being used,” Evans said.

Thomas Scully, police chief of Orland Park, said he currently doesn’t have the cameras in his jurisdiction but he’s trying to get them since they would decrease accidents.

“We currently have had in the past several years fatalities where vehicles have run red lights and caused the accidents that killed innocent people,” Scully said.

However, some lawmakers say the cameras aren’t fair and are just moneymakers for municipalities.

“The rules that govern the way we drive should be consistent,” said State Rep. Will Davis (D- Hazel Crest). “My personal feeling is that this is a way to make money for communities as well as the state

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) said that after he talked to residents and officials, he concluded the cameras were not needed because they aren’t efficient.

He agreed that Millner’s proposal would standardize regulations, but still believes eliminating the cameras is a step in the right direction.

“After doing the research and looking at what has happened not only in Illinois but across the country, it was clear to me that this was not an issue about safety,” Syverson said, “but this was an issue of revenue in municipalities.”

However, Millner said the red light camera system is self-sustainable because revenue from tickets is used to purchase the cameras and provide signs, paint and other requirements in his initiative.

–Ashley Badgley, Illinois Statehouse News

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


6 Responses to “Illinois Legislature: Senator John Millner Pushes Red Light Camera Bill, Claims Public Safety Boosted; Senator Dave Syverson Disagrees”

  1. Millner needs to go! This is predatory confiscation without the approval of the citizens of Illinois who overwhelmingly resent this intrusion. The politicians who concoct new ways to fleece the public and expand government should reap the consequences of their actions.

    Posted by Neil Jorganson | February 14, 2010, 2:25 PM
  2. David,

    These cameras are making our intersections LESS safe as the yellow lights are shortened to increase revenues at intersections where cameras are present.

    I support State Sen. Dan Duffy’s SB 2466 to ban red light cameras statewide, except at railroad crossings.


    Scott Tucker
    GOP candidate for State House, 11th District

    Posted by Scott Tucker | February 22, 2010, 2:49 PM
  3. Scott,

    I, respectfully, disagree.

    It just seems like more paranoid Tea Party-like nonsense regarding any government initiative.


    Posted by David Ormsby | February 23, 2010, 8:09 AM
  4. John 2/3/10
    Congrats on trying to keep the cameras, but
    ironing out some of the problems with the
    With law enforcement being strapped for funds
    and personnel, traffic law enforcement has
    been almost absent. This is leading to increasing
    chaos. Traffic safety is more than “the absence
    of accidents.” It has to do with the orderly
    movement of vehicles and the respect for the
    rights of others.
    Intersections with cameras are clearly marked
    as such. Many of the protesting drivers have
    received citations at these intersections.
    What does that tell you about the kind of
    drivers they are. If the driver pays close
    attention, is not distracted, keeps a safe speed,
    and does not commit too soon to going through
    the intersection, there will be no problem.

    Keep up the good work, John, and let’s not “throw
    the baby out with the bath water.”
    Wayne (Retired Driver Ed Inst)
    and 7 car-lengths

    Posted by Wayne Sandman | March 3, 2010, 6:09 PM
  5. I will vote out any politican working for the use of red light cameras. Not only do you fleece money out of us this way, but Illinois is one of the few states that charges a percentage gas tax—and not a flat fee. All of you crooks have to go! NO MORE RED LIGHT CAMERAS—it costs $140 to contest them!

    Posted by Dana | April 20, 2010, 4:08 PM
  6. Dana,

    Or–you could reduce your speed as you approach a traffic light? A whole heck of a lot easier, no?

    Thank you for reading.

    David Ormsby

    Posted by David Ormsby | April 20, 2010, 5:16 PM

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