https://justthenews.com/nation/states/center-square/lawmaker-pushes-legislation-address-red-light-camera-corruption?utm_source=justthenews.com&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=external-news-aggregators

An Illinois state lawmaker has tried unsuccessful to pass a measure to stop corruption related to red light cameras, in the wake of bribery charges against a mayor in the state.

State GOP  Rep. Deanne Mazzochi proposed the measure after former Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Anthony Ragucci was charged with wire and tax fraud charges for allegedly accepting payments based on revenues a company called SafeSpeed received from the cameras.

Prosecutors accused Ragucci of accepting thousands of dollars after the state in 2017 allowed his suburban-Chicago city to put red light cameras at a busy corner.

The Illinois Department of Transportation had previously ruled the intersection too safe for cameras but reversed course to allow for the installation. The reversal came after the Senate Transportation Committee headed by Martin Sandoval intervened on SafeSpeed’s behalf.

Before he passed away, Sandoval admitted to accepting bribes from SafeSpeed, as did the former mayor of Crestwood.

Mazzochi said it is time to put an end to the such dealings related to the cameras, which critics say are effectively mechanisms to collect more government revenue to add to tax coffers.

“How many indictments is it going to take for either the [Governor] Pritzker administration to act at IDOT or the legislature to act in the General Assembly to finally say enough is enough?” Mazzochi asked.

Mazzochi filed legislation to revoke IDOT’s approval of automated traffic law enforcement systems if they’ve been associated with civil or criminal corruption charges involving a state legislator, member of the executive branch with oversight authority on the matter, or a member of local government who held power over its installation.

The measure, had it passed, also would have given members of the public targeted by red light cameras in areas where corruption occurred the right to challenge the ticket in court.

However, the bill never made it out of committee.

Mazzochi said proponents of the cameras claim they improve safety, but a police official she spoke with said that may not be the case, especially the Oakbrook Terrace camera at the center of the latest charges.

“He informed me that he believes that the red light camera at that corner has actually made the intersection less safe and has contributed to more accidents at the site,” she said.

Neither SafeSpeed nor any of its current owners has been charged with any wrongdoing.

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