State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, is renewing efforts to eliminate red light camera technology.
He recently filed two bills addressing red light cameras. House Bill 4372 would prohibit the Illinois Department of Transportation from approving any red light camera installation until the requesting municipality or county provides proof a significant increase in public safety will result from the use of the automated traffic law enforcement system.
A second bill, House Bill 4373, would ban red light cameras entirely in DuPage County.
"If folks in Cook County want red light cameras or if their legislators would prefer to go with the red light camera companies instead of their constituents, so be it," said Breen, in talking about his legislation. "But I know that the people of DuPage County vigorously oppose these red light cameras. At the very least, let us in DuPage County eliminate these cameras for our constituents, for those we represent. I think you would be hard pressed to find voters who support red light cameras, not merely those who oppose them."
Breen's district includes most of Glen Ellyn and Lombard, the eastern part of Wheaton and sections of Lisle, Downers Grove and Oakbrook Terrace.
Breen is a longtime critic of red light cameras. In 2009, he founded BanRedCams, a grassroots initiative that sought to ban red light cameras in Lombard and surrounding communities. Lombard removed its cameras in 2010. In 2017, Breen filed legislation to stop a red light camera from being installed at the entrance of Oakbrook Center at 22nd Street and Route 83. Breen said the bill didn't go anywhere.
"The Democrats bottled it up," he said. "The red light camera was approved despite the fact that they didn't have data showing that it would improve safety."
Glen Ellyn resident and former Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education member Terra Costa Howard is running against Breen in the November general election. She doesn't face an opponent in the March Democratic primary.
Howard said she would like to see data showing if red light cameras are improving safety.
"We haven't really seen the data that safety has improved," she said. "If it's been able to be quantified, I'd like to see it. Have we seen a reduction in accidents at that particular intersection? That would be a huge piece of this puzzle that I think needs to be examined."