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Hoffman wants to allow speed cams outside Chicago

Friday, Feb 28, 2014

* There are benefits to representing safe districts and not facing a primary challenge. For instance, you can introduce bills like this without much worry

State Rep. Jay Hoffman wants to expand Illinois’ speed-camera law so that not just Chicago can install the devices. […]

He said Thursday there weren’t any metro-east municipalities that approached him about wanting speed cameras.

“Some of the school organizations that represent school administrators talked to us about it, for safety purposes,” Hoffman said. “I don’t want to mandate it, but to allow the option statewide, instead of just Chicago. It would just give the option to local school boards and local municipalities, who would have to approve it if they have a safety issue and want these devices.”

The current law allows installation of speed cameras only in a “safety zone” — an area within one-eighth of a mile of a school or public park. It allows a fine up to $100 for a speeding violation.

Peoria, which is far from Hoffman’s district, is apparently interested in the speed cams.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    If they have them in Chicago, they ought to have them all over to spread the “safety” that the city now enjoys. Of course, if they don’t want safety outside of Chicago, then I feel that I must insist that Chicago be at least as “unsafe” as the rest of the state.


  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Plenty of Hoffman’s former GA colleagues are big-foot lobsters for the camera companies.


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    I see Jay has adopted Rahm’s line.

    “It’s not about more revenue for us to spend. It’s for the children!” lol


  4. - Walker - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Building up campaign coffers?


  5. - Dave - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    To be honest, I don’t see why this is a big deal. Speeding is against the law and we have technology to enforce it. Seems like it would be a better use of police resources to automate this process as it reduces the need for police traffic monitoring and increases overall driver safety rather than risk injury to all for being pulled over. The child safety argument is bogus but helps the medicine go down, Revenue is true but it would be nil if people followed the law in the first place. It is annoying how change-adverse people can be.


  6. - Frustrated Voter - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Terrible idea. Missouri has been getting its butt handed to them in the courts lately over their red light cams (it’s been all over the news in St. Louis), so only a Metro East trial lawyer would think it’s a good idea to introduce a traffic cam bill in Illinois right now.


  7. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    I’m with you, Dave. Annoying, and I hate when I got caught once by a red light camera.

    But it amounts to a voluntary tax, which is a lot better than most other revenue options


  8. - Just Observing - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    @Dave — If it does not improve safety and it is about revenue as you infer, then why should we support a something simply because it’s an opportunity to make money?


  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Will schools and parks get any revenue, or are the just a front?


  10. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    @Dave - It’s debatable whether driving the speed limit is always the safest speed to drive. It certainly isn’t safer in bad whether, or in a variety of other situations either. That’s why we have ‘Driving to fast for conditions’ tickets. There’s a case to be made for driving too slow for conditions too. You’re at least as big a hazard as someone driving too fast for conditions if you’re on a highway cruising along at a speed much slower than the average rate of speed too. As for speeding, most times it’s inadvertent. Drivers can’t stare at the speedometer to make sure they’re never speeding. If they did, it would be much more unsafe on the roads than it is now.

    Speed cameras are not a substitute for an officer enforcing traffic laws. The only thing they are is revenue generators for the governmental body that employs them, and that TAX falls mainly on the middle class. The poor can’t pay them, and the driving behavior of the rich isn’t affected by what is to them, the chump change of a fine.

    So…IMHO dump all the speed cameras. They’re just a new way to ripoff the middle class.


  11. - Bigtwich - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    –As for speeding, most times it’s inadvertent.–

    Now that is funny.


  12. - DuPage - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    That bill would be fine, with 3 amendments.

    1. An operating electronic sign “your speed is” before you enter the actual zone.

    2. An electronic sign that clarifies if the “school speed limit when children are present on school days, during school hours” is on or off. Some suburban schools have that already. It says “school speed limit 20 when lit”. That would avoid people getting tickets because of going 30 on an otherwise 30MPH zone at 7PM.

    3. All the money over costs to go straight into the TRS, SERS, and SURS state pension systems. Nothing to go to the city, town or school district. They should not have any problem with that, since they say it is for “safety, not revenue”.


  13. - Downstater - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    =I see Jay has adopted Rahm’s line.

    “It’s not about more revenue for us to spend. It’s for the children!” lol=
    Jay Hoffman, along with his close friend, Blago, are primary reasons Illinois is in this financial mess. Jay Hoffman has never seen a dollar of tax revenue he can’t find a way to spend. Hoffman is a joke.


  14. - Dave - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    @publicservant… Driving faster than the speed limit being ’safe for conditions’ would be a result of everyone else driving over the speed limit. If no one is speeding in the first place your argument is void. Additionally, if we really want to get down to it, the issue of speeding could be fixed by manufacturers not making cars faster that can go over 70 or whatever the highest speed limit on highways is set. Everything is digitized now anyway and that code would take all of 5 minutes to write into the car’s computer system.

    @justobserving… Not as a way to make money, as a way to reduce the need for officer enforcement of certain traffic laws. Yes there are others to consider than just speeding but it seems to be a cost-effective way to reduce officer demand in traffic situations and speeding is typically involved in most other traffic violations.

    Can’t say something doesn’t work until we try it.


  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Illinois politics”The greatest show on earth”We should trademark the name Illinoisgate. Its good to see that the police state is alive and well Winston


  16. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    @Dave
    The “problem” with red light cameras is that they’re not “traffic tickets” that are reported to the Secretary of State and insurance companies but are “administrative penalties” that aren’t reported and allow bad drivers to keep driving.

    Plus, the way most cities operate administratively, arguably the hearing officer is a “fee officer” which were banned by Article VI, Section 14 of the Illinois Constitution.


  17. - Dave - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    @anyone remember… Ha, now there’s the intricacies of government I would never now. Obviously it’s never simple, just seems like technology can provide some support, nothing can make up bad statute writing it seems though ;)


  18. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    I like your solution DuPage, and Anyone Remember is exactly on point. As I previously stated this is nothing more than a regressive tax on the middle class. The only joke, bigtwitch, is that politicians want speed cameras for kid’s safety.


  19. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    @Public Servant - you make an important point.

    News from Ohio earlier this week: “A judge Tuesday ordered a Butler County village to stop using speeding cameras and said they’re being used to violate motorists’ rights to due process, in the latest ruling against automatic traffic enforcement”

    It seems the courts would agree with you.

    Not to mention the multiple areas which have already tried these speed cameras and since abandoned them as a flawed idea which their constituents generally do not want.


  20. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    FKA points out the current reality of speed cameras. Challenges are cropping up and more to come. Since the tickets are not recorded w/the state (I think that was so that due process issues were minimized - am I correct?) the only thing that changes is some cash going from the speeder to the municipality. If Dave thinks that’s gonna change speeding habits I got a bridge over the mighty Mississip to sell him.


  21. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    @dupage dan - you can include my bridge in Brooklyn as well.

    According to ABC, new data also finds “Traffic Cameras Rife With Bogus Violations, Audit Shows” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2014/01/traffic-cameras-rife-with-bogus-violations-audit-shows/

    There are some excellent examples in that article of just how inaccurate the speed cameras can be.


  22. - Keyser Soze - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Would anyone really want to run for re-election on the mantra of “I brought you speed cameras?”


  23. - Rob Roy - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 5:26 pm:

    Hell just put chips in all the cars and every time you break the law…any law just have a ticket sent to you…didn’t stop at that stop sign long enough…ticket. no seat belt…ticket…talking on your phone while driving…ticket. We just care about your safety that’s all.


  24. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 6:47 pm:

    That was meant to read above, “…in their utilization….”


  25. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 28, 14 @ 7:11 pm:

    That was meant to read above, “…in their utiilization….”


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