(WTVO)– Governor Pritzker is expected to sign legislation that would allow about 11,000 suspended drivers in Illinois to get their licenses back for not paying traffic tickets, according to a ProPublica report.
State lawmakers passed the bill as part of an overall criminal justice reform plan on Wednesday, January 13th. The law would prevent cities from seeking license suspensions for motorists who have five or more unpaid red-light or speed camera tickets.
Drivers also wouldn’t need to renew their license if they have any outstanding traffic fines.
A spokesman for the secretary of state says there are about 500,000 holds on licenses due to traffic debt–adding that one person can have multiple holds.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she supports the bill as part of her overall goal to reduce Chicago’s dependence on fines to generate revenue. “The Mayor commends state lawmakers who have chosen to end the unproductive and unfair practice of suspending driver’s licenses simply due to one’s inability to pay a ticket,” according to a statement from the Lightfoot’s spokesman from the Chicago Finance Department.
Red-light cameras are responsible for taking $1 billion from drivers in Illinois between 2008 and 2018, according to an analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute. Investigations show they fail to improve traffic safety and even increase some types of collisions.
January 21, 2021 at 10:20PM