McSweeney renews call for ban on red-light cameras
Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Heights) wants to put the brakes on red-light cameras.
"Red light cameras are being used by local governments primarily to raise additional revenue, not to improve safety," McSweeney said in a Facebook post.
McSweeney introduced House Bill 472 in January in hopes of repealing a section of the Illinois Vehicle Code that allows local governments to use automated systems to enforce traffic laws at intersections, including cameras that record whether a car follows road signals.
Red-light cameras reportedly have been lucrative business. McSweeney cited a Daily Herald report that found that three such cameras at an intersection in Lakemoor, home to 6,000 residents, have brought in nearly $5 million since they were installed in 2012 – the most out of 32 red-light camera programs the publication analyzed.
A recent Chicago Tribune investigation found that the Illinois Department of Transportation, which has to approve red-light cameras on state-controlled roads in Chicago's suburbs, was inconsistent when it came to allowing the cameras to be installed at nearly 200 intersections.
Last year, an Oakbrook Terrace request was denied because the intersection in question had a low rate of accidents – too low to warrant cameras, IDOT said. But the city got its way with the help of a state senator connected to a company that operates red-light cameras and had a financial interest in Oakbrook Terrace's program.