WBEZ | speed zones http://www.wbez.org/tags/speed-zones Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Speed zone cameras move to House vote http://www.wbez.org/story/speed-zone-cameras-move-house-vote-93864 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/flickr kevinliuzzo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A controversial bill that would place speed cameras around Chicago school zones is heading to the Illinois House for a full vote.</p><p>State Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago) chairs the committee that voted Tuesday morning to send the bill to the full House. He said he wants the cameras because they make school zones safer.</p><p>"Those who raise the argument that it is strictly an effort to raise revenues for the city, they might have a legitimate argument there," Burke admitted. But Burke says the safety of kids trumps any concerns over why they are being introduced. He says he hopes the cameras are used to catch any other illegal activity in view, and that he'd like to see a camera on every corner.</p><p>The bill would apply a speed zone to an 1/8th mile area around every Chicago school except for colleges and universities. Drivers caught going five or more miles per hour over the posted speed limit would face a $100 fine. The cameras would be in operation from 6am-8:30pm on school days.</p><p>Discussions continue over how the funds collected from cameras would be used. One option is to use a portion of it to fund after school programs and traffic safety.</p><p>The bill has passed the state Senate already. Burke says the bill could be up for a final vote in the House as early as Wednesday.</p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 20:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/speed-zone-cameras-move-house-vote-93864 Emanuel lobbies for school zone speed cameras with House vote pending http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-lobbies-school-zone-speed-cameras-house-vote-pending-93831 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is lobbying hard for a bill that would allow the city to use red light cameras to catch speeders near school zones and parks.</p><p>The measure quickly passed the Senate two weeks ago, but some representatives say it could face stiffer opposition in the House, which is expected to vote this week.</p><p>Emanuel insisted the cameras are needed to slow down drivers in school zones.</p><p>"If you follow the law, you have nothing to worry about," said Emanuel. "Simple. As you follow the law, this is not a problem. If you break the law, obviously you've got a concern, and all I'm saying is don't do it near a school or park."</p><p>Under the proposal, drivers caught speeding near parks and schools could face a $100 dollar fine. The bill approved by the Senate allows cameras around schools to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on school days and from one hour before opening and after closing for parks. Emanuel said all ticketing revenue would go toward funding for various school programs, citing after school programs and speed bumps as examples.</p><p>Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein discussed how the city might use the cameras to catch speeders near school zones and parks. Klein said 79 current red light cameras are within one-eighth of a mile from a school or park. He said the city is looking into reworking those cameras to catch speeders.</p><p>"The goal is to change people's behavior," said Klein. "You have education, engineering and enforcement. And if you don't have enforcement the other two aren't as effective."</p><p>Klein said the city could start using the cameras as early as this summer. He said the city is also considering tracking speeders by placing specially equipped vans near safety zone intersections without red light cameras.</p><p>Klein said enforcement would follow a 30-day grace period, where warnings would be issued to people caught speeding.</p></p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-lobbies-school-zone-speed-cameras-house-vote-pending-93831