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Garcia Steps Up Attack On Cameras: 'Time To End The Red Light Ripoff'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia has taken a harsher stance against the city's red light cameras, as he steps up his bid to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"The program is just one more way that the mayor takes our money, and gives it away to his corporate backers. It's time to end the red light ripoff," he said.

Garcia said people hate the red light cameras, so while he's previously said he would put a moratorium on the program, and might keep some of them in operation for safety reasons, on Thursday he said he would end the entire program.

"I will do it on Day One. No more tickets," he said.


Emanuel countered that his administration imposed reforms on red-light cameras. He said he's not in favor of removing all cameras and has the political courage to say that. Emanuel has said the devices do improve traffic safety.

Garcia scoffed at that.

"That sounds good, but it's smoke and mirrors. What we need in Chicago is real authentic community policing, where the police and Chicagoans work together through trust and mutual respect," he said.

Garcia feels the streets are safer without the red light cameras, though he did not explain how he would end the city's contract with Xerox, the current operator of the red light cameras. Xerox signed a five-year, $44 million contract with the city in 2013.

Garcia insists the city could find replacement revenue if the cameras are pulled.

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