Metro East counties removed from Illinois speed-camera bill

By Kevin McDermott
Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau

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Traffic camera

UPDATE (11:16): Sens. Link and Haine just confirmed to me that Haine’s opposition to the bill is the main reason Link removed Madison and St. Clair counties from it. Haine says he’s concerned that an automated system would nab drivers who inadvertantly stray a mile or two over the speed limit, a common phenomenon that police officers generally overlook but a camera wouldn’t. Haine: “People can speed a little bit and not know they’re speeding. . . . Are we going to have an huge influx of (speeding) tickets now? . . . It’s an idea who’s time isn’t here.”

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A bill that would allow some police agencies in Illinois to catch and ticket speeders with unmanned camera-and-radar setups is still pending in the Legislature — but it won’t be available in the Metro East, after all.
As we previously reported, the original bill, by state Sen. Terry Link, D-Lake Bluff, was originally written to give that extra police power to eight high-traffic counties, including St. Clair and Madison in the Metro East and six counties in the Chicago area.
But the bill (SB1852) was amended last night, by Link, to specifically take St. Clair and Madison out of the list of counties allowed to do this, according to the updated version of the legislation online this morning. That means that even if this becomes law, only police agencies in the Chicago area would be able to do it.
I’ve put in calls this morning to Link and others to figure out what’s up with this. Generally, when a lawmaker specifically removes a geographic region from his legislation, it’s because a lawmaker from that region has asked that that be done. The Metro East region in question is represented by senators Bill Haine of Alton and James Clayborne of Belleville, both Democrats.
We’ll update this as soon as we have more.