Law could allow for more "eyes in the sky"

By Alex Davis |

Published 03/10 2014 05:04PM

Updated 03/17 2014 10:31AM

ILLINOIS -- They've been dubbed "cop-in-a-box," but supporters argue, speed enforcement cameras are an added tool for law enforcement. WCIA-3's Alex Davis has more on a plan to change the state's current speed camera law.

Currently, speed cams and other recording devices can only be placed in speed zones in Chicago, but a few downstate lawmakers think other communities could benefit from them as well. Kimberly Anderson knows firsthand how it feels to get caught by a speed camera.

"That was not real fun, getting that in the mail unexpectedly."

Anderson got busted while driving in St. Louis. Weeks later, her speeding caught up with her.

"Actually, I didn't even know that I got caught."

Right now, Chicago is the only city in Illinois permitted to use cameras. Law prohibits cities with fewer than a million residents from having them, but there's a plan in the legislature to change that.

"A lot of people look at it as 'big brother,' but again, it's a tool you just have to balance it and see what's right for your community."

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow says, if the law changes, cities like Springfield could install them in areas where added safety is needed like school and construction zones.

"It would just be another tool, but against what would be the cost-benefits to it?"

Even though folks like Anderson may think it would just be another revenue generator for cities, she does see a purpose for them in areas beyond safety zones.

"In an area that maybe has high accidents, maybe even in areas like that, then maybe, so to determine what's going on in that area. Maybe it's the lights or whatever, where they can change some things to make it safer for traffic or whatever, but just in general? No."

Another big complaint is the fee. Someone caught on camera speeding at more than 10 miles per hour over the limit could face a $100 fee.

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