The Daily Herald slowly picked up steam on the scheming by RedSpeed and the Red Light Camera industry, and this weeks article by Marni Pyke shines the brightest light yet on the calculated for-profit ploy to use government and our safety officials-the police themselves-as dupes in their scheming.
RedSpeed credits its lobbyists, who include former elected officials, for its legislative successes. But it recognized the opposition was fierce and blamed voters in an April update.
“Most DuPage County senators are still having serious reservations about voting yes,” the update states. “Many constituents have been pressuring them to vote against the speed bill. It would help if they heard from police colleagues and friends on the importance of passing this bill.”
RedSpeed is sensitive to negative publicity. Following a critical radio interview by Duffy, RedSpeed e-mailed police chiefs, mayors and village trustees stating the senator “made several inaccurate statements about your (red light) programs, using this misinformation as a platform for his position.”
The e-mail offers talking points for local leaders.
For example, to offset arguments that cameras are installed for revenue reasons, the e-mail notes that “if drivers do not break the traffic laws, they do not receive a ticket and subsequent fine.”
Duffy shot back that RedSpeed has donated more than $39,000 in recent years to legislators to promote its cause while collecting millions of fines from Illinois citizens and urging lawmakers to ignore the voices of the public.
“The facts remain the same. The majority of tickets are issued because motorists roll past the white line when turning right on red. If turning right on red is a safety issue, then why don’t legislators make them illegal?” he said.
For her efforts to investigate and expose the scam and how it has attempted to infiltrate Illinois, Marni Pyke has been shut out by RedSpeed officials, who refuse to return her calls and answer her questions. Additionally, RedSpeed company attorneys have attempted to block Daily Herald FOIA requests for email records of their lobbying and marketing campaign, claiming the request for public records violated personal privacy and trade secrets exemptions provided by law.