Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Why They Voted For (And Against) Speed Cameras

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago aldermen testified Wednesday on the speed camera ordinance, which passed 33-14.

    JAMES BALCER, YES: “If other aldermen don’t want cameras, give them to me. I’ll put them in my ward.”

    EMMA MITTS, YES: “I said to my mom, ‘If we save one life, isn’t that better than doing nothing?’ We should have love in our hearts, or we wouldn’t be speeding down the street, running over kids, running over fire trucks. Everyone going too fast. If people won’t obey the law, we need to make a law.”

    JOE MOORE, YES: “I do have my own personal anecdote that has led me to support this ordinance, despite the calls and e-mails my office has been getting.” Moore related that he received two speed camera tickets in Montgomery County, Maryland. “Since then, every time I drive through the state of Maryland, I watch my speed. My first reaction was to be against it. The fact of the matter is, it works. People slow down. The camera doesn’t play favorites. Doesn’t matter what race you are, what nationality, whether you’re an alderman or a judge or an off-duty police officer, you cannot clout your way out of a ticket caught by a camera.”

    JOHN POPE, YES: “I want to thank you for your open-mindedness in rolling back the fines, bringing the program in slowly. People will get used to it. If someone thinks we don’t have a people, people should listen to aldermen who get requests for more crossing guards. If people didn’t speed, we wouldn’t need crossing guards.”

    LESLIE HAIRSTON, NO: “My concern is about what happens when they’re not used for speed. We are giving up our authority. We don’t have a say-so where the cameras go. Little by little, our democracy is being chipped away, and we are being chipped away from having authority as to what goes on in our wards.”

    ANTHONY BEALE, YES: “You decreased the fine. That should have sent a signal that it’s not about revenue, it’s about public safety. What tipped me over the edge was when I had an eight-year-old kid hit on the way to Aldridge Grammar School. That camera would have caught that driver who injured a kid in a hit-and-run accident.”

    JOE MORENO, YES: “‘This is nothing more than a money grab to write tickets and to take away the freedom that our citizens have.’ That’s a quote from when we were debating seatbelts. We should not be afraid of technology. This measure is good, not only for our kids, but for our citizens who abide by the law. I’m not going to go back to the student at Clemente High School in the eye, and told her I’d support this bill in Springfield, I’m not going to go back and tell her I voted ‘no’ for nefarious reasons.”