House Votes for Partial Ban on Red Light Cameras

The Illinois House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve House Bill 322, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, to ban red light cameras in non-home rule units of governments (population of 25,000 or less) within the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will.

“As we work toward a full statewide ban on red light cameras, today’s passage of HB 322 is an important step in the right direction,” Sosnowski said. “We know that red light cameras are not about improving public safety, but rather a get-rich-quick scheme for the companies that install them. Studies have shown that many violations are issued in error, and that they disproportionately target those who can least afford them. Worse, a federal investigation has exposed the corrupt influence exerted by the red light camera industry to defend their interests, including outright bribery of a powerful state legislator. This has to stop. While I prefer a full statewide ban on red light cameras, I view today’s passage of a partial ban as a critical step forward.”

In January, former State Senator Martin Sandoval, a Chicago Democrat who was chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to accepting about $250,000 in bribes to protect and advance the red-light camera industry; and for filing a false tax return.

If House Bill 322 is signed into law, 45 of the 101 communities in the state with red-light cameras would be forced to remove them effective January 1, 2021. Legislation currently pending in the State Senate, Senate Bill 2902, would enact a full statewide ban on red light cameras.