Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bad Press For Red Light Cameras

The past few days the Chicago Tribune has published major articles which cast red light cameras, and the main suburban red light camera company in a bad light. On Sunday, the Tribune spotlighted the political back room dealings which gave rise to RedSpeed Illinois, the main supplier of red light cameras in the suburban Chicago communities. The ownership of RedSpeed is cloudy, at best. It's main office is in Kazakhstan. It is owned by a closely held Israeli group of investors. The CEO of the company lives in Staten Island New York and works out of the office of a New York Ophthalmologist. RedSpeed has contracts with over 50 Illinois municipalities. Working for this company are some heavy duty lobbyists and former state government officials. It's sales director is Greg Zito, a former state senator from Melrose Park and a longtime lobbyist for HSBC and Household International. Those companies have been the main campaign cash providers to the main supporter of red light cameras in Springfield, Representative Angelo Saviano. Another lobbyist of RedSpeed, Al Ronan is a former state legislator and a fundraiser for George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.

RedSpeed was launched in 2004 and quickly started getting contracts in Illinois even though they had never operated any red light cameras anywhere. To read this interesting and revealing article, please click here.

Another article in the Chicago Tribune revealed just how profitable these red light cameras have been. The article also exposes how government officials are flat out admitting that it's all about money. There's a video of the Village of Bellwood Comptroller, Roy McCambell, boasting "that intersection is a guaranteed amount of money." He made that statement during a seminar with the Illinois Muncipal League in 2007. He was talking about the intersection of 25th and Harrison Street in Bellwood Illinois. The red light camera at that intersection is bringing in between $60,000 to $70,000 a month in revenue. The article also points out that about 90% of these red light tickets are issued for failure to make a complete stop before making a right turn, and not for blowing through an intersection. To read this article, please click here.

For more information about the Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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