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Could cameras be part of the problem?
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 5/17/2010 12:17 AM

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I wonder how effective the red light cameras really are. Do these red light cameras really make intersections safer or are they just a revenue producing source for fines?

I frequent two intersections in Wheeling daily (Milwaukee Ave. & Dundee Rd. and Palatine and Wheeling roads) and have seen the threat of a photo ticket cause indecision for drivers.

That is, when drivers see the photo enforcement sign, people frequently slam on their brakes once they see a yellow light, hit their accelerators to speed through the intersection or they do one and then the other.

I know the village trustees were probably given good cause to make streets safer AND increase revenues by placing these cameras. My guess is that people fight these tickets routinely (causing increased direct and indirect administrative costs of enforcement) and that rear end collisions are up significantly at these intersections.

I narrowly escaped one such collision this morning, which prompted this letter.

The thought of "big brother" watching is fine with me. However, I would really like to know if more accidents are caused by the indecision produced by these cameras.

Maybe the village trustees would find that their revenue-producing cameras actually make things less safe. I wonder if that would make a difference.

David Kolssak