This Chicago DUI attorney was frustrated today. She was behind a truck that stopped at a green light. No, there wasn’t anything in front of the truck that caused it to stop. It was a stale green light at a River North intersection that has a red light camera. Luckily, there was not an accident. Thankfully, at least some are re-considering whether these cameras are a good idea.
Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider believes he has seized the initiative to turn back a red-light-camera program with the legal finding that the county can't arbitrarily impose it on municipalities.
County Board President Todd Stroger and Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno, both Chicago Democrats, have pushed the program by insisting that the county could press the responsibility for maintaining an intersection on any municipality that rejected placing a red-light camera there. High maintenance costs would all but force local governments to accept the controversial cameras wherever the county wanted to place them. Both Stroger and Moreno said they had the legal backing of the Cook state's attorney's office on that opinion.
Yet Schneider received a letter earlier this month from Deputy State's Attorney Patrick Driscoll Jr., liaison to the county board, stating that "no such opinion exists."
Schneider hopes the legal opinion stops the proposed county-run red-light cameras in their tracks, though the issue could come up again before the county board as soon as Tuesday.
"The written opinion only restated what we already knew, what I thought to be the case, that it did require a joint decision between the county and the local municipality to either trade roads or give up any roadways," said the Bartlett Republican. "The fact of the matter is, they had no legs to stand on."
Schneider didn't accuse Stroger and Moreno of outright lying on the issue, but he did call it "a reckless decision they came to that had no basis in fact or law."
Anyone else think the red-light cameras are more of a cash cow than a safety net for people throughout the County?