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Schaumburg to take down red light camera
Residents applaud decision, but don't like plans for more
By Eric Peterson | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/25/2009 12:03 AM | Updated: 2/25/2009 8:20 AM

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Schaumburg officials received both praise and scorn Tuesday night over two actions related to their red-light camera policy.

What a couple of residents found praiseworthy was the village board's decision to deactivate a controversial camera at Meacham and Woodfield roads that generated nearly $1 million in fines just from drivers who failed to come to a complete stop before turning right on red.

But the same residents objected that trustees also applied to the Illinois Department of Transportation to install further cameras at state-owned intersections in other parts of the village.

"It's one step forward, nine steps back, because they want to put in nine more cameras," resident Brian Costin said.

He and fellow resident Robert Garrett handed out pamphlets opposing red light cameras to other members of the public in the village hall parking lot. Several cars sported windshield signs reading: "Red Light Camera - the most profitable safety program in existence."

Trustees agreed in committee last week to concur with a staff recommendation to take down the camera which had created so much buzz over the revenue it had collected.

Still in place, though, are cameras to catch drivers proceeding directly through an intersection on a red light. Of the 10,000 drivers who received $100 tickets between mid-November and early February, about 98 percent were from turning right on red without stopping.

Some members of the public expressed reluctance to return to Schaumburg's commercial district after being hit with the $100 tickets.

"I wouldn't want to be a business owner near a red light camera because it might hurt my business," Costin said.

He also claimed that statistical information showed that accidents paradoxically increase at intersections monitored by red light cameras.

Trustee Tom Dailly debated with Costin over whether it made any difference between an intersection being monitored by a police officer or a red light camera.

Costin said it was also an issue of civil liberties as police ticket the drivers of cars while red light cameras ticket only the owners of cars.

Camera: One owner says camera hurts his business