Cook County, Illinois gives up on plan to force traffic cameras on unwilling suburbs.
Cook County, Illinois board members voted 9-4 on Tuesday to give municipalities the option to say no to red light cameras in their towns. The board got an earful from municipal constituents after it approved a contract with a pair of red light camera firms on June 2 to set up automated ticketing machines on suburban Cook County roads.
The contract came as a surprise to many suburban municipal leaders as the list of 30 proposed red light camera locations was released two weeks ago. This prompted Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Wilmette and others to begin looking into legal ways to stop cameras from being erected in their towns.
“This allows for municipalities to opt out of the county’s red light camera program,” said amendment sponsor Commissioner Tim Schneider, who opposed the original ordinance and subsequent red light camera contract. “It’s not an argument for or against red light cameras… This is about the village’s right to include or exclude red light cameras within their municipality.”
Commissioner Tony Periaca, who voted against the original ordinance and subsequent contract, agreed with Schneider.
“It’s an overreach and an encroachment on their sovereignty and sets a dangerous precedent,” Periaca said. “It’s a way to separate taxpayers from their money. It’s not about safety it’s about revenue.”