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I was disheartened to read in the recent Buffalo Grove Village Board agenda that red light cameras were listed, especially in light of the recent Daily Herald series on the problems associated with those systems. I was equally dismayed to see a "no-bid" request go out to the particular company.
I know that there are times for non-bidding. In this instance I fail to see that justification. Bidding should be open to all companies and the resultant bids thoroughly examined and compared.
But, we are far too early in the process to begin that. There should be public input prior to talking to any company. The president and trustees are supposed to represent the citizens. I can't find a citizen in favor of the cameras.
Most want some information, and assurances of proper procedures prior to placement of cameras. We shouldn't look at these as ATMs to the villages that extend into our pockets. They should be for true safety purposes.
I admit there are times I wish a camera would catch someone who is going through a red light, especially on Lake-Cook Road. But I have problems with the right-on-red $100 violations.
Let's see the $100 for going through the light or even a higher amount. This fine is a bit steep for the right turn violations I've seen.
Growing up I used to see many police cars on patrol and manning difficult intersections. Typically a police sting at an intersection for a short time resolves the problems. I don't see that anymore. Aside from the police looking for drunks late at night at their usual spots on Lake-Cook Road or their frequent runs on Dundee Road, it is hard to find one.
Let's get some public input first. Let's develop some reasonable standards and then bid out the systems. Any worthwhile company will have literature and will talk with potential clients without this "no-bid" process.
And while we are at it, perhaps aim some at handicap parking spaces. The abuses alone on that could raise more money than the right-on-reds. However, I don't see that enforced either.
Katherine Anne Hedlund