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Red light cameras: modern-day trolls
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 7/23/2009 12:02 AM

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The fact is we are in one of the worst recessions since the great depression, tax revenues are down across the board, and public support for any tax increase borders on hostility. Now the same public officials who were just crying about tax revenues are on a safety kick that includes hefty fines being generated 24/7 by automated systems.

Frankly, the single defense they have for becoming modern trolls is public safety, it is thin at best and insults our intelligence. Instead of looking to cut budgets and costs the same way the citizens are forced too, our public officials have decided to tax by other means.

This new approach uses our police as revenue generators, but it comes at an additional cost, damage to the credibility and respect of law enforcement. As a citizen of the community, a taxpayer and an educator I must add my voice to those speaking out against the abuse of power this new technology represents.

It is a slippery slope and starts with traffic lights, but where will it end? I must also add that your article highlighted Villa Park's placement of a camera on Route 83; the police official said the law is clear on stopping before the white line, and so any ticket is justified. Villa Park is struggling for revenue and is using its police to make up shortfalls; it is that simple. The fact that they are splitting hairs and inflicting $100 fines on people for stopping just over the white line is unconscionable.

These cameras are the municipality's version of its own toll authority, a constant revenue stream that pays for its own overhead. This is nothing more than a tax by other means.

Ken Minkowski