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Red light camera company fires back at ticket collection halt

By Jason Knowles and Ann Pistone, ABC7 News

The private red light camera company SafeSpeed is responding to the Illinois comptroller’s decision this week to stop collecting on violators.

This week Comptroller Susanna Mendoza said in February, she will stop assisting the 60 suburbs which rely on her to collect red light camera fines if offenders don’t pay.

One of the reasons she said is over a federal investigation into some politicians and alleged connections to the private red light camera company, SafeSpeed.

The I-Team has learned that SafeSpeed posted a letter to Mendoza on its website saying she’s made inaccurate and untrue statements, and that the “federal investigation of political corruption” involves several of her fellow elected officials.

SafeSpeed said it does not condone illegal activity and condemns any form of corruption. The company added it is cooperating with the federal investigation.

The SafeSpeed letter also said it provides the technology to municipalities to improve public safety, and that intersections where cameras are placed are deemed dangerous by police and the Illinois Department of Transportation. They said rigorous studies are done before installation.

Mendoza stands behind her initial comments, and said the overall red light camera system targets minorities and the poor.

“The system is clearly broken I’m exercising my moral authority to prevent state resources being used to assist a process that frankly victimizes tax payers,” Mendoza said earlier this week.

Mendoza also said another reason for the change was because of recent ABC7 I-Team investigations. They uncovered that majority of tickets are issued to people going right on red, many in designated right-turn lanes.

Proponents say drivers should always come to a complete stop and that studies show cameras reduce crashes.

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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