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Ill. Senate to waste time on Red/Lt cameras

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Ill. Senate to waste time on Red/Lt cameras

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 21, 2010

Now the Illinois Senate is going to waste time on red-light cameras. Hello? What about the financial crisis in Illinois???

"This is a safety issue," says Rikeesha Pheon, the mouthpiece for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, of the move to restrict enforcement by red-light cameras. And then she gave three non-safety reasons why the Senate is wasting its time on this matter.

1. violations to be examined by a cop or trained technician
2. make it unlawful for municipality to charge for appeals
3. cutting back enforcement of right-on-red tickets

OK, so #3 is a safety issue. By reducing the enforcement of right-on-red, this is a safety issue.

Sen. John Duffy (R-Barrington) got two right-on-red tickets in Schaumburg. I didn't see the videos of his violations, but I did watch videos of violations by a young woman on two consecutive days in another jurisdiction. It was absolutely clear that she had violated State law, and the tickets were correctly issued. My guess is that Duffy's violations were also absolutely clear.

And I'll bet that Schaumburg took out its camera at Meacham and Woodfield Roads, not because of safety, but because the political "heat" just got too hot.

Phelon (and Cullerton) apparently believe that right-on-red is "Technically ... a violation." Nope. Sorry, Sen. Cullerton. Failing to stop at the white stop bar, crosswalk or near curb line of an intersection is a violation. There is no "Technically" about it. What part of that is so hard to understand?

And Rep. Jack Franks thinks that red-light cameras should be used only for those who blow straight through a red light, not for right-on-red violations. Well, in one of the violation videos I watched, the driver just missed a pedestrian in the crosswalk, crossing from left to right.

Duffy thinks red-light cameras should only be used in construction zones and at railroad crossings. Duffy mentions "reform". Yep. Let's reform drivers' attitudes about the importance of stopping at a red light.

The article in today's paper reports that 10,000 tickets were issued at the Schaumburg intersection of Meachem and Woodfield Roads in 2009 and that the cameras lasted only about three months before Schaumburg removed them. Were there, then, 10,000 violations in three months??? That's a rate of 40,000 violations in a year! Who says there isn't a need for red-light cameras?

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