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Illinois Governor Approves Use of Red Light Cameras in Chicago

Early this morning, an Illinois accident lawyer of ours pointed out an article posted by MyStateLine.com, which discussed how Illinois Governor Pat Quinn approved the use of speed enforcement cameras, otherwise known as “red light cameras,” throughout the city of Chicago. The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, has suggested using the speed enforcement cameras to fine speeders who are going five miles per hour or more above the speed limit in “safety zones”, which are typically zones that are near schools or parks where children and pedestrians are present. The speed enforcement cameras will not be put into place until July 1st.

According to an article by The State Journal-Register, “The cameras will send $100 tickets to the drivers of vehicles going more than 5 mph over the limit. The ticket wouldn’t be considered a moving violation.” The cameras will function during the day from 6:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night on school days (Monday through Friday), as well as areas surrounding parks, functioning every day of the week, from one hour before the park opens until one hour after the park closes.

From the perspective of a Chicago auto accident lawyer, although some may find it controversial, we see no down side. By having these cameras in place, we hope that drivers will be more aware of their speed when in pedestrian heavy zones in Chicago. Drivers will know that even though there may not be a policeperson nearby, there are still cameras monitoring the streets to ensure safe driving practices. By offering a steep fine of $100, drivers who are one-time offenders will hopefully learn their lesson and slow down. If the $100 serves as a consequence to drivers, as well as raising revenue for the City, there isn’t much harm in that to the pedestrians who are becoming safer.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys support initiatives like these, because pedestrians share the road with cars, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, and should be protected. The red light cameras encourage drivers to slow down, which can also be beneficial when weather conditions are bad, or even help to prevent rear-end accidents. We hope that initiatives like the red light camera will show drivers that there are consequences to speeding, and that slowing down could prevent a fatality of one of the people that motorists share the road with.