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Speed camera legislation presented

| May 9, 2014 | Motor Vehicle Accident

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 29 percent of car accidents in the state are caused by speeding. Illinois law currently permits speed cameras in communities with populations over one million. Chicago is the only municipality in Illinois with more than a million residents, which means that drivers outside Chicago’s city limits are not monitored by cameras. New legislation presented by State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) would remove this restriction from the Illinois Vehicle Code and allow speed cameras to be used throughout the whole state.

Decreasing the accident rate in Illinois

The new speed camera bill, known as HB 4632, is designed to cut down on the number of car accidents in Illinois. The Department of Transportation reports the following data for the state in 2012:

  • 274,111 car crashes
  • 60,252 crashes resulting in injury
  • 9,648 crashes resulting in serious injury
  • 886 fatal crashes

By installing speed cameras in problem areas, law enforcement could cut down on speed limit violations and decrease the number of fatalities and injuries.

Possible effects of the speed camera bill

According to Chicago’s Department of Finance, almost 18,000 automated speeding tickets have been issued in Illinois since the first cameras were installed in the city in 2011. If HB 4632 passes, this number is likely to rise dramatically in the next years. Automated enforcement systems would be installed to fight speeding in multiple safety zones across the state, resulting in tens of thousands of new tickets each year.

Debating speed cameras

The speed camera bill is not popular among all motorists. Opponents have argued that it is an intrusive proposal that is designed to generate more revenue from drivers without increasing overall safety. Some Illinois drivers consider speed cameras to be an intrusion on their privacy. Other opponents of the bill are against widespread use of cameras, but agree that they should at least be permitted near schools and in other high-risk areas.

Changes on the road in Illinois

If the Illinois Vehicle Code is amended to remove the restriction on speed cameras in smaller municipalities, motorists will soon notice the effects of increased enforcement. Cameras are able to catch violators around the clock, even when traditional police patrols are unavailable. Given the large number of fatalities and injury accidents currently caused by speeding in Illinois, proponents of HB 4632 argue that this new bill will create a safer environment for everyone on the road.