CHICAGO, Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Nearly eight months ago on April 18, 2012, speed cameras were overwhelmingly approved by the Chicago City Council (33-14) for installation in Chicago's 1600 school zones. There was much talk at the time on how the cameras may eventually cover half of Chicago streets.
But wait a minute, slow down. Although the plan is moving forward, it is not yet moving at full speed. It seems, a pertinent but initially overlooked Illinois traffic law has slowed down the project. According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the law states that children must be "visibly present" before school zone speed limits can be enforced. Therefore "big brother" can not just take your photo indiscriminately.
So here's where we are presently. The city has begun testing speed cameras from various vendors at four Chicago locations. The testing began Monday, December 3 and will continue through January, 3, 2013. The good news is that no citations will be issued during the test period.
After the testing, the plan is to select one vendor to install the speed cameras in various locations near schools and parks throughout the city. It also needs to be determined if the law stating that children must be "visibly present" in order to issue tickets has legs and if so how the to issue the fines.
By spring of 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to have speed cameras in place at about 40 schools and parks. At this point fines will be issued with tickets starting at $35 for drivers going 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit and is expected to reach $100 for 10 mph or more.
Currently, if you want to see the speed/safety cameras, they are up and running at the following locations:
• McKinley Park on the 2200 block of West Pershing Road.
• Warren Park on the 6500 block of North Western Ave.
• Dulles Elementary School on the 6300 block of South King Drive.
• North Montessori School on the 1400 block of West Division.
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