A lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago over its red light and speed camera programs was granted class-action status by a Cook County judge on Wednesday, meaning the case’s outcome could affect up to 1.5 million motorists.
When Illinoisans hit the polls in November, they will see a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot asking whether the state should put transportation funding in a “lockbox” so that it cannot be used for non-related spending.
If the amendment passes, the Illinois Constitution would be amended to ensure transportation funding is safeguarded from being spent on other purposes, like balancing the state budget.
Citizens to Protect Transportation Funding, a coalition of business, labor and construction groups, is leading the advocacy effort in support of the so-called “Safe Roads Amendment,” which made it onto the November 8 ballot after strong bipartisan approval from the state legislature.
Chicago Ald. George Cardenas (12th) spoke out Monday against the activation of a controversial speed camera in his ward.
The speed camera is located in the McKinley Park neighborhood at 3200 S. Archer Avenue, near the Mulberry Playlot Park at 3150 S. Robinson St.
On Monday, the photo enforcement device began issuing warnings to speeding drivers. After a 30-day warning period, tickets will be issued, and drivers caught going 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit will face $100 fines.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and proponents of speed cameras say the devices, located near parks and schools, enhance children’s safety. But opponents argue that speed cameras are less about safety and more about generating revenue for the city.
“There’s no justification whatsoever for this camera being here except (for) ticketing people on their way home, or on their way to work or from work,” Cardenas said at a morning press conference in front of the Archer Avenue speed camera near Paulina Street.
Illinois gas station owners and representatives from Americans for Prosperity, the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores slammed the idea of hiking the motor fuel tax at a Thursday press conference.