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Who says it isn't about the money?
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 7/27/2009 12:02 AM

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In response to your story, "Elk Grove Resident Drops Idea of Red Light Camera Referendum", I'd like to direct comments at Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson, and, indirectly, at the Village board of trustees.

Mayor Johnson stated "we do not govern by referendums." In the U.S., we rely on our elected officials to execute the will of the people. We are not, however, required to sit on the sidelines while a small group of government officials install a program whose merits are debatable.

The village's Red Light Photo Enforcement System is ... an overzealous attempt to raise revenue under the guise of safety. True, they have reduced right-angled impacts significantly. They also, however, increase rear impacts as drivers panic and (stop suddenly) to avoid a ticket.

Additionally, the draconian fee of $100, which cannot be directly contested in court, is assessed by a person miles away, looking at just two photographs of a vehicle as it passes over electronic sensors embedded in the roadway.

The fee is completely without reason. How can one expect residents to look past the revenue-building intent of the camera project when such an exorbitant fee is assessed? What is the fee for an unlawful right-on-red when conducted in the presence of an officer, rather than a camera? According to Village Code, as low as $25.

Trustees, I encourage you to halt the construction of new Red Light Cameras pending a study of their effectiveness, a review of the fines and reform in how tickets are processed. Residents should see statistics on exactly how many accidents are prevented, and how many rear-end collisions are caused as a result of the cameras.

In addition, a report on the accuracy of the cameras, and the rate at which tickets are dismissed by the "Traffic Control Administrator" or overturned in court should be furnished. Should the cameras be found ineffective, or unfair, I would demand their permanent removal.

Mayor Johnson, your comment is irresponsible, ignorant and pathetic. You should know that you hold your position at the mercy of the people. I know that I am not alone in longing for the day you are the former mayor of Elk Grove Village.

Dustin Sneath

Elk Grove Village