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Batavia not interested in red-light cameras
By Susan Sarkauskas | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/2/2010 4:12 PM

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Batavia will not be installing red-light cameras anytime soon.

A city council committee told the police chief last week not to bother continuing work on the project.

The city services committee voted 6-1 against having Chief Gary Schira continue developing a proposal to bring the cameras, which record vehicles that drive through red lights, to town.

Meanwhile, neighboring Geneva turned on two of the camera systems recently, and plans to start issuing tickets next week. St. Charles also has the cameras. So why not Batavia?

"As my mother used to say, 'If everyone else jumped off a cliff ...,' " said Alderman Jim Volk, the committee chairman and the sole "yes" vote.

But, he said, that "yes" vote doesn't necessarily mean he favors the cameras: "I was interested in gathering more information," he said, such as accident data for intersections, costs from camera vendors, and facts from Geneva's and St. Charles' experiences.

"I'm neither for them nor against them."

Critics of the enforcement cameras have noted that many of the tickets generated are for people making right turns on red lights, who don't stop at the white line on the pavement but instead stop a few feet ahead of it, before proceeding with their turns.

State Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington has introduced legislation to ban the cameras, except at intersections with railroad crossings and in construction zones. A special subcommittee of the senate's transportation committee was due to discuss the legislation Tuesday night.