Comptroller pumps brakes on red-light camera debt

In the midst of ethical probes into the Illinois Statehouse, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza recently announced that her office will no longer assist municipalities in collecting fines for violations caught by red-light cameras.

The red-light camera industry and contracts with local municipalities and political officials have recently come under scrutiny as federal investigations continue.

In 2012, the General Assembly authorized municipalities and other local governments to use the Office of the Comptroller to help collect debts resulting from unpaid traffic tickets. Outstanding debts were collected from violators by withholding state income tax refunds or other payments. According to the Comptroller, this method of collection has been used to recover unpaid child support, overpayment of benefits, and other types of debt.

The Comptroller’s assistance with unpaid traffic tickets from red-light cameras will come to an end on Feb. 6, 2020.

Senate Republicans anticipate red-light cameras being a topic of discussion during the spring legislative session.  Legislation has been filed to analyze the use of the cameras and to ban red-light cameras.

Steve McClure

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