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Lawmaker Proposes Red-Light Camera Ban

Red light camera at intersection
Derek Jensen
Wikimedia Commons
A red-light camera in Ohio.

If there’s anything in Illinois with a lower approval rating than state government, one imagines it could be red-light cameras: those big-brother tattle-tales that catch drivers in the act of running a red light at intersections.

State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has reintroduced legislation that would ban them across the state. His first attempt came in 2015. That version exempted some areas like Chicago, but the new proposal would apply to all of Illinois.


McSweeney says financially strapped cities and towns should be cutting spending, not using traffic violations to collect more money. “And it’s a dishonest way because they’re trying to in a lot cases pretend like this is about safety, when it’s about additional revenue,” he said.


In 2005, the Federal Highway Administration found the cameras provide no benefit to road safety. Other studies say they increase rear-end collisions.

The Illinois Municipal League, a group that lobbies in Springfield on behalf of local governments, says they're still reviewing the legislation and have not yet taken a position.

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois. He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He graduated from Macalester College. Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.
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