Cameras to target speeders on roads near parks, schools

Illinois lawmakers have paved the way for speed cameras to be used in designated safety zones in the city of Chicago.

SB 965, passed by the legislature in November, establishes these zones as being roadways within one-eighth of a mile of a school or park. An individual will be ticketed if he or she is caught by a camera driving more than 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. The fine is $50 a day for driving up to 10 mph over the limit and $100 for higher speeds. The cameras will be used between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and signs must be posted at the intersections warning motorists.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a pedestrian study done by the city of Chicago served as the impetus for the legislation. Between 2005 and 2009, the study found, there were 861 crashes involving children near schools around arrival or dismissal times.

Most states in the Midwest do not have laws addressing the use of speed or red-light cameras. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Wisconsin is the only state in the region with a law that expressly prohibits the use of automated enforcement technologies. Illinois, on the other hand, already allows local municipalities to employ red-light cameras. In Iowa and Ohio, automated enforcement programs are operating under local ordinance.

Article appeared in December 2011 edition of Stateline Midwest »