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updated: 12/10/2010 11:07 PM

Duffy: Go easy on tickets for right turns on red

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  • Se. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington is proposing to limit what infractions red light cameras should be allowed to catch.

      Se. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington is proposing to limit what infractions red light cameras should be allowed to catch.


SPRINGFIELD -- After his hopes to eliminate red-light cameras in the suburbs stalled this year, state Sen. Dan Duffy says he wants to focus strictly on right-on-red turns.

The Lake Barrington Republican says right turns when a traffic light is red aren't dangerous. And, Duffy argues, cameras shouldn't be used to catch people rolling through the turn without coming to a complete stop.

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"You can drive form here to Mars and never be in an incident from turning right on red," he said.

Duffy said he'll push the legislation next year.

In 2009, a Daily Herald investigation revealed that many of the drivers caught by red light cameras in the suburbs were turning right on red without coming to a complete stop, a move many traffic safety experts don't consider to be very dangerous.

This year, lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn approved reforms targeted at concerns about the cameras.

But those changes don't address right turns. Instead, when the law takes effect next year, drivers won't be ticketed for coming to a stop past the white line or crosswalk. And in the collar counties, current or retired police officers have to review the camera's photos before a driver is given a ticket.

The reforms were carried by Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, who wouldn't comment either way on Duffy's idea.

"We look forward to seeing the senator's presentation in committee," said Cullerton spokesman John Patterson.

Duffy has received red-light tickets, including for making right turns.

When reforms were being debated earlier this year, Cullerton showed video of Duffy rolling through red lights while making right turns. Duffy said Cullerton was trying to "embarrass" a freshman lawmaker.

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