Chicago Speed Cameras: Gov. Quinn Expected To OK Rahm Emanuel's Controversial Plan
Though he had reportedly delayed his vote on the controversial Chicago speed camera bill amid a public outcry against it, it appears Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has, at last, arrived at a decision on the matter.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Quinn is expected to OK the bill Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has adamantly pushed for in recent months. The governor had until Monday to veto the measure, but if he does nothing, the proposal (Senate Bill 965) will become law July 1.
Under the measure, the city will install red-light cameras near many of the city's busiest intersections that will identify, and automatically ticket, motorists recorded traveling above the speed limit in so-called "safety zones" within one-eighth of a mile of schools and public parks. The fines could top $100 per infraction, and the "safety zones" would reportedly cover 66 percent of the city.
While the governor reviewed the legislation, The Expired Meter reported last week that his office received a public response vocally opposed to it -- specifically, more than 90 percent of those who contacted his office about the bill said they were not in favor of it. Those numbers are similar to The Huffington Post poll numbers on a recent story, where approximately 87 percent of respondents opposed the plan.
"Public response is one of those (factors involved in the decision) and the Governor always wants to do what's in the best interest of the people of Illinois," Annie Thompson, spokesperson for the Governor's office, told The Expired Meter last week.
Quinn's approval of the bill could come with a caveat, however, as CBS Chicago reported last week that his office still needed to "put the finishing touches on that particular piece of legislation." While the governor admitted that the public response has not been good to the bill, he said he was not "sure that's a scientific sampling of all the people of Illinois."
The mayor, meanwhile, has downplayed the cameras' role as a moneymaker for the city and maintained that his principal priority is "the safety of our children," NBC Chicago reported.
Last November, the state legislature approved Emanuel's red-light camera plan after the mayor lobbied heavily for it by citing two incidents where Chicago children were injured or killed in collisions -- two accidents that occurred at intersections that would not be covered under Emanuel's plan.
WATCH the mayor discuss the measure and urge the governor to approve it last week: