Illinois lawmakers may follow Mayor Rahm Emanuel's lead on speed cameras.
Sen. Tony Munoz proposed letting suburban communities retrofit red-light cameras with speed sensors at intersections near schools and parks. Town officials wouldn't have to approve it, according to the proposal, but they'd have the option.
Emanuel has long advocated for speed cameras as a safety measure for kids, though the public told Gov. Pat Quinn they're overwhelmingly against them.
Quinn ultimately signed the bill, also touting safety for students. It takes effect July 1.
The bill allows the city to use automatic speed enforcement cameras within one-eighth of a mile around schools from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during school days and within one-eighth of a mile around parks from one hour prior to opening to one hour after closing.
"Since day one as Mayor, my top priority has been to ensure that Chicago’s children can focus on their studies, not worry about their safety," Emanuel said. "I am grateful to Governor Quinn for supporting one more step in our comprehensive strategy to keep Chicago’s children safe."
Still, there is a debate igniting across the country that the devices are the new hot revenue generator for cash-strapped cities. The Chicago Sun-Times reported there were 25 cities in the year 2000 with speed cameras. About 10 years later nearly 550 cities have installed the devices.
In Schaumburg, Mayor Al Larson told the Daily Herald it's not likely speed cameras would make it within village limits.