How to get rid of red light cameras

  • JOHN STARKS/jstarks@dailyherald.comRed light camera at Randall and Bunker Hill Roads in Algonquin.

    JOHN STARKS/jstarks@dailyherald.comRed light camera at Randall and Bunker Hill Roads in Algonquin.

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted1/21/2016 7:00 AM

The suburbs' infatuation with red light cameras could be waning, if Algonquin is any kind of bellwether.

It's not because of any legislative action, like the attempt last year by Lake Barrington state Sen. Dan Duffy and Barrington Hills state Rep. David McSweeney to outlaw the cameras in non-home rule communities, usually those under 25,000 population.

 

It's not because of court action. The Illinois Supreme Court 14 months ago dismissed a challenge to the Illinois law that allows the red light cameras to exist.

It's not because of evidence of corruption, like the former CEO and an employee of red-light camera company Redflex pleading guilty to bribing Chicago employees to get a contract.

A City Hall employee is on trial this week and Redflex was banished, but Chicago still has the red light cameras, and now speeding cameras, too.

No, it's because -- drum roll, please -- people aren't getting as many tickets.

The Algonquin Village Board voted Tuesday to end its red-light camera program April 30 after tickets decreased from 6,937 in 2009 to 1,766 in 2015.

Village Manager Tim Schloneger said that's proof the cameras worked.

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"It was never intended to be something in place permanently," he told Daily Herald Staff Writer Lauren Rohr.

"It was always a public safety program to create awareness and change behavior. As soon as we accomplished that goal, it was time to remove them."

Of course, when tickets drop, so does income from the $100 paid by every violator.

Recently, Algonquin was just breaking even on its red-light camera program, Schloneger said.

We congratulate Algonquin for recognizing the red-light camera program's job is done, whether safety or money is the impetus -- or both.

As for the dozens of other suburbs with red light cameras, we drivers now have a road map for getting rid of the despised devices: Just stop getting tickets.

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