SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod. R. Blagojevich today signed a traffic safety measure designed to make Illinois’ roads safer by giving local governments the ability to use photo enforcement at traffic signals. The Governor signed House Bill 4835, which authorizes counties in Northeastern Illinois and the Metro East area to use photo enforcement at red lights. Red light cameras are already in use in Chicago.
“Too many drivers think that running a red light isn’t a big deal or that they won’t be caught. It is a big deal because it’s dangerous and now, with photo enforcement, they will be caught,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
HB 4835, sponsored by Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R-Elmwood Park) and Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago), applies to Madison and St. Clair Counties in Metro East and suburban Cook County and the other collar counties in Northeastern Illinois. It allows local governments to establish photo enforcement to catch red light violators. IDOT will work with local governments to establish locations where the photo enforcement for red lights is installed, and the agency will continue to monitor and analyze crashes at those locations to determine effectiveness. HB 4835 is effective immediately.
“Photo enforcement at intersections is a huge step forward in preventing accidents due to people running red lights. I was proud to sponsor this legislation, and thank the governor for signing it,” said Rep. Saviano.
“These cameras will make roads safer for pedestrians and motorists,” Sen. Cullerton said. “Other cites that have used photo enforcement have seen see far fewer violations and accidents from people who would otherwise run red lights. This new law is an easy and effective way to help save lives.”
“Stepping up enforcement against drivers who run red lights was identified as a priority by traffic safety stakeholders across Illinois when we put together our highway safety plan,” said IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin. “This gives local authorities in heavily populated areas of the state and important new enforcement tool.”
On May 16th, the Governor signed similar legislation authorizing the use of photo enforcement at railroad crossings. Senate Bill 2865, sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Rep. Saviano, gives local governments authority to use photo enforcement to crackdown on drivers who go around lowered crossing gates. The legislation comes in response to an accident the evening before last Thanksgiving, when a Metra express train crashed into several cars trapped in rush-hour traffic at the Grand Avenue railroad crossing in Elmwood Park, injuring 16 people. SB 2865 takes effect January 1, 2007.