Guest view: Speed camera law would slow down their proliferation

March 7, 2014 

During the time I have had the honor to serve in the Illinois General Assembly, I cannot recall specifically responding to an article written about me or one of my proposals. However, recent items in the Belleville News-Democrat regarding my legislative proposal, which would limit the use of speed cameras to within one-eighth of a mile from a school safety zone and only during specific hours when children are present, required a response.

Unfortunately, the BND's characterization of the contents of this proposed legislation is erroneous. First, over the past decade there have been all types of proposals that would permit the widespread use of these speed cameras. I will continue to oppose these proposals. All too often, these proposals have been money grabs by governmental entities with little concern for the accuracy of enforcement. As a result of these concerns, I introduced this legislation which would limit the continued attempts to expand the use of these speed cameras.

This recent proposal, which is currently being amended, will do the following:

* Limit the use of the cameras to only be located within one-eighth of a mile of a school safety zone only during certain hours when children are likely present.

* Give our local governments and local school boards sole discretion to specifically allow the speed cameras. This will ensure that the cameras will only be utilized in high-risk school safety zones.

* Not permit the use of these cameras by local governments in any area other than a school safety zone.

* Provide revenue from the program for safety purposes.

* Ensure statewide uniformity for the use of these cameras and stop the unwarranted increase in the use of these devices.

The intent of this legislation is to protect children when they attend school, provide local control and reduce the continued increase in the use of these cameras.

Jay C. Hoffman, D-Belleville, represents the state House 113th District.

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