Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Speed Cameras Come To Illinois

Somehow I missed this:
Beginning in July the State of Illinois will use speed cameras in areas designated as 'work zones' on major freeways. Anyone caught by the devices will be mailed a $375 ticket for the first offense, but a second ticket will cost $1000 and comes with a 90-day license suspension. Drivers will also receive demerit points against their license, which allows insurance companies to raise their insurance rates. This represents the harshest penalty structure yet for a city using photo enforcement.
Via Omnibus Driver

In a way, I'm glad to see this. A couple of IDOT workers have been killed in construction zones by speeding drivers in recent years and in the past month or so I have driven past the aftermath of three seperate multi-car wrecks - two of which set cars ablaze - in the construction zones of the Bishop Ford and Dan Ryan expressways. All occured early on Sun morning, the obvious best time to use these cameras. I just hope this program isn't extended to include every mile of Chicago area expressways unless the speed limits are raised to more realistic levels.

I'll be very interested to see how this changes driving behavior on the 14 lane Dan Ryan, which is notorious for its lead-footed, lane weaving maniacs and is undergoing 4 years of total reconstruction. My guess is not much. I expect a short-lived revenue bonanza for the state followed by howls of protest that force it to back off.

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