Illinois state Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) | rephalbrook.com
Illinois state Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) leaves no doubt about his position on the red-light cameras installed across much of the state, arguing that the use of the devices may even be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“Some have questioned the constitutionality of red-light cameras based on search-and-seizure concerns,” Halbrook told the Macon Reporter. “There are a lot of concerns about them. There’s an incentive for shenanigans and a breeding ground for corruption.”
Indeed, former state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) recently pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges after taking a $250,000 payout from one of the state’s biggest red light-camera companies. He now faces up to 13 years in prison and is reported to have agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Illinois state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington)
Halbrook says situations like that have made it easy for him to support legislation designed to eliminate the cameras altogether. Currently, a bill co-sponsored by Republican House colleague Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington) would remove nearly 100 of the state's cameras.
House Bill 322 is slated to go before the full House for a vote, where passage would mean removal of red-light cameras in at least 45 of 101 communities, or 92 of the 607 now installed throughout the state.
By Illinois Policy Institute estimates, red-light cameras have accumulated more than $1 billion in revenue since first being installed a little more than a decade ago.
“We need a thorough investigation to find out everything that’s going on,” Halbrook said. “This is part of all the ethics reform we desperately need to be doing as soon as we get back in session in Springfield.”