Quinn signs Chicago speed camera bill

February 6, 2012 3:28:34 PM PST
Cameras to catch speeders are coming to Chicago.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Monday that allows the city to use the cameras near schools and parks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the cameras will improve safety for children, but critics say the cameras will just be money-makers and won't improve safety.

Drivers could be fined up to $100.

Quinn is fond of using the phrase, "Let the will of the people be the law of the land."

Monday morning, despite overwhelming public correspondence opposing speed cameras in Chicago, Quinn agreed with his fellow politicians

"I think it's important that people understand that around schools and parks it is important to slow down," Quinn said.

Quinn used familiar talking points to support the installation of speed cameras near Chicago schools and parks.

After July 1, the city may equip new and existing red light cameras with speed detection equipment.

Anyone driving six mph over the limit would be mailed a computer-generated $50 fine, while 11 mph over costs a $100 fine.

o "I know it creates the kind of awareness that drivers need to have especially when school's open," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

Annually, the fines could amount to tens of millions in new revenue for the city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who used his political clout to move the measure in Springfield called it, "a good day for Chicago's children".

He'll need another vote, by the city council, to get the cameras rolling.

"This is going to generate revenue," said 19th Ward Alderman Matt O'Shea. "But I can look at each and every one of you in the eye and tell you, this makes it safer."

The governor was asked if he thought the "will" of Chicagoans included speed cams in their neighborhoods.

"As expressed through their legislators, the overwhelming majority of legislators from Chicago voted in favor," Quinn said.

"As far as I know, it represents the will of our people because we don't want people in Chicago speeding around parks," said Rep. Monique Davis (D). "We don't want them speeding around the schools."

"F you follow the law, if you follow the posted speed you have nothing to worry about," said Rep. Bill Cunningham (D).

A Chicago Tribune analysis said speed cameras near all public and private schools and parks would cover over half the city.

The governor would not rule out expanding a successful city program to the suburbs and downstate

"I think this is a good place to look at and see how it goes," he said.