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Fighting red-light wrong

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Fighting red-light wrong

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 7, 2010

Oh, wait; the headline was "Righting red-light wrong."

The Northwest Herald published a letter to the editor from Rep. Jack Franks this morning about red-light cameras. Jack wrote that he is working on legislation for the elimination of citations for legal right-on-red turns.

Certainly, no legislation is needed for that!

If a driver makes a legal right-on-red turn, by its very definition he has not committed a traffic violation.

Now, if a driver makes an illegal right-on-red turn, then s/he deserves the ticket.

So what if 80% of the tickets are for right-on-red violations (if the number is really that high). If the driver violated the law by rolling around the corner at 20MPH (against a red light) or not stopping until past the stop bar or 3/4 of the way through the turn, then pay up. The videos of the violation clearly show that the driver violated the law.

Every day drivers commit significant traffic violations because of carelessness, inattention or intention.

Rather than waste time on this, our legislators should be devoting 100% of their time and resources to the budget crisis in which Illinois is buried. Thousands and thousands of bills bog down both houses of Illinois government, draining time from the most important one.

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