When it comes to red-light cameras, some Illinois lawmakers can only see black and white. Because some communities have misused the cameras as money-makers and because Chicago has a bribery scandal involving the previous owner of its system, there is now the inevitable bill to ban them statewide.
But wait. Some communities are making effective use of the cameras. We wrote recently about Granite City, which has a camera at 27th Street and Madison Avenue. The police review the tapes, and use discretion in issuing tickets. The police post videos on its Facebook site so residents can see that these are flagrant offenders who deserve tickets.
Instead of an outright ban, lawmakers would be better off tweaking the rules about the cameras’ use or maybe adding some transparency requirements. Used effectively, red-light cameras can make the roads safer for the motoring public. This technology shouldn’t be taken away from every community because some communities are doing a bad job of using it.
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