Mazzochi: Latest Criminal Charges Prove Action Needed on Red Light Cameras

Elmhurst, IL… State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) reiterated legislative action is essential to curb out-of-control red light camera corruption. 

Federal authorities filed criminal charges against former Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Anthony Ragucci on Friday, April 15th.  The charges include bribery associated with red light camera company, SafeSpeed.  Ragucci was allegedly paid based on revenues the company received from cameras in Oakbrook Terrace and contract renewals with the city.  SafeSpeed has been linked to numerous federal investigations against other municipalities and officials.

“We’ve known for years that these charges were coming,” Rep. Mazzochi said. “The Illinois Department of Transportation is well aware of the problems with these cameras, but the Pritzker administration continues to do nothing but drag their feet and refuse to remove these cameras.”

Rep. Mazzochi filed House Bill 4102 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. It also allows members of the public targeted by corrupt red light cameras the right to challenge the tickets in court.

“This is commonsense legislation.  Residents should not have to pay because officials want to line their pockets, and they should not continue because local governments get addicted to the money,” Rep. Mazzochi said.  Yet, despite garnering a number of co-sponsors, “Democratic House leadership killed the bills.  Not a single Democratic legislator from DuPage County had the courage to stand up against this public corruption in our backyard,” Mazzochi emphasized.

Mazzochi noted that the multitude of criminal charges involving legislators and local officials confirms that “red light cameras are intrinsically linked to corruption throughout the state. Illinois desperately needs stronger ethics laws to deter endemic corruption like this, but in the meantime my legislation will provide relief to drivers caught up in these schemes. That’s something all Illinois legislators should get behind.”

Rep. Mazzochi plans to refile House Bill 4102 for consideration during the fall veto session. “Hopefully Democratic legislators who previously promised to reform red light cameras in Illinois will actually keep that promise with their vote.”