Republicans don’t care whether an out-of-control leadfoot driver runs over your 5-year-old daughter. That’s one conclusion to draw from Illinois State Senate’s vote on allowing Chicago to install $100-a-ticket speeding cameras at intersections near schools.
The bill was opposed by Downstate Republicans, who are worried the cameras will spread to Chenoa, Hord and Effingham, thus creating a new source of revenue to be misspent by Democrats. It was supported by the following Chicago Democrats:
- Jacqueline Collins
- William Delgado
- Mattie Hunter
- Emil Jones III
- Edward Maloney
- Iris Martinez
- John Mulroe
- Antonio Munoz
- Kwame Raoul
- Ira Silverstein
- Heather Steans
- Donne Trotter
(Several Republicans also voted for the bill, including Senate Minority Christine Radogno of Lemont.)
“People in this state are sick and tired of being nickel and dimed to death,” said Republican Sen. Dan Duffy, who maligned the cameras as “a blatant revenue grab by the city of Chicago.”
Does Duffy have a point, or does he just not care about the safety of our children?
Speed cameras have been in use since the mid-1980s, but the safety of Chicago schoolchildren has only become an issue now that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to close a $653 million budget deficit. Nobody seemed to care about kids getting run over by cars in the ’90s and ’00s, when the city was running a budget surplus.
Also, speeding outside schools is a bigger problem in rural areas than it is here in Chicago. Most country schools are on county roads where trucks blow by at 55 miles an hour. Most city schools are on side streets with 25 mile an hour speed limits.
I think Duffy’s point is that Democrats have a bottomless appetite for the public’s money. And they’re willing to exploit children to get it. This, of course, is a well-known advertising trick. It was most famously used by Michelin in its "So Much Is Riding On Your Tires" campaign, which suggested to drivers that maybe they didn't really care about their children if they bought Firestones. Maybe the Democrats are using the same ad agency.
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