West Side lawmaker wants to ban red light cameras

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State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation that would place a moratorium on the use of red light cameras in Chicago until safeguards are in place to make their use fairer.

An online petition started by Ford has 1,203 signatures of people calling for an end to the use of red light cameras in Chicago.

Under Illinois House Bill 487, the city of Chicago would not be able to operate an automated traffic law enforcement system. But the ban could be reconsidered if a report explaining how a better system could be implemented was submitted to the Illinois General Assembly.

“It is only fair to people who drive the streets of Chicago that a moratorium be placed on the automated traffic violation system, or red light camera system, until it has been determined that the process is fair and just,” Ford said in a statement earlier this week.

“Red light cameras are used all around the world, and I am not against red light cameras in general, because they may make some streets safer for drivers and pedestrians.

However, with the recent investigations by The Chicago Tribune raising questions about whether the red light cameras may actually increase dangers in our streets, Ford says the system needs to be more fair and safer for all.

Ford suggests that task force be created to study best practices throughout the world and produce the best safeguards needed in Chicago.

“Even though Mayor Emanuel inherited this problem, this is a chance to reset the procedures for this system,” Ford said.

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