Red light camera lawsuit claims 2003 installation not authorized - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Red light camera lawsuit claims 2003 installation not authorized

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The fight over red light cameras in Chicago is getting more intense. The cameras are not very popular in the city, but a new frontier in the fight has emerged on the North Side.

The class action lawsuit claims the City of Chicago never had the right to install them, because state lawmakers had not yet authorized that type of automated traffic enforcement. The suit also says all the tickets issued between 2003 and 2006 are invalid.

The National Motorists Association is pleased the 3-year-old suit will be brought before a higher court, since it has been dismissed by lower courts in the past.

The city says it has the authority to establish the program under home rule, which says cities with populations greater than 25,000 can pass laws usually made at state level. Chicago has 384 cameras at 191 intersections. Last year they generated $60-70 million.

In the Old Town neighborhood, residents say the red light cameras at the intersection of North and Wells snap photos of cars and drivers every two minutes or so. The motorists say the cameras don't always show the whole story.

"I think it puts people in a tough position when the streets are filled, there's tons of traffic and you know that by running a yellow light you run the risk of getting a ticket," one Chicago resident said. "But at the same time, slamming on your brakes puts you in the position of causing an accident. I think they are causing more harm than good."

The suit won't go before the Illinois Supreme Court for many more months. But when it does, the proceedings are expected to garner state-wide attention.

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