Burns Urges Passage of Red-Light Camera Legislation—A Day Before Lauzen Press Conference

A day before his opponent in the Republican primary holds a press conference on the topic, Kane County Board chairman candidate Kevin Burns puts out a press release endorsing the proposed legislation.

It's curiouser and curiouser, move and countermove time in the race for the Republican nomination for Kane County Board chairman.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns issued a press release today supporting the "common-sense direction" of two state Senate bills regulating the use of red-light cameras.

Not coincidentally, the press release comes about 24 hours before Burns' GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Chris Lauzen, announced he would be holding a press conference on that topic.

The press conference is to be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the northeast corner of the intersection of Randall Road and Williamsburg Drive—one of the two places where red-light cameras have been installed in Geneva.

In the Burns press release, the mayor announces his support for SB 2863 and SB 3504, introduced by state Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington), who is a scheduled speaker at Lauzen's Thursday press conference. The bills address the issue of ticketing on right-turn-on-red and the timing of the yellow light, according to the Burns release.

“This is the common-sense direction we took with the installation of cameras while I have been mayor,” Burns said. “These two bills reflect exactly what we have done here in Geneva. It’s a shame that no senator, including Sen. Lauzen, has supported them.”

In reference to the press conference Lauzen and Duffy have announced, Burns said, "This technology has been in place in Geneva for two years and just now Chris is expressing his dissatisfaction? Typical political opportunism by the senator." 

Burns pointed out that Geneva has two intersections where red-light cameras are in use, and tickets are not issued for right-turn-on-red. The cameras are at Williamsburg and Randall Road and at Fargo and Randall Road, both considered dangerous intersections.

“The most dangerous intersections in Geneva required a new way to enforce the problems we've seen for years,” said Burns. “There is no room to post a police officer at these two intersections, so we explored ways to address the dangerous situations. The red-light cameras were approved by the city and county, and the permit authorizing the technology was granted by the county with a three-year sunset clause, meaning it expires in less than a year. It's unlikely that a request for a permit extension will be filed by the city.”

The process Geneva has in place includes review by police officers before any
violation is issued, the Burns press release states.

“Our review is clear,” said Burns. “We don’t issue tickets for right-turn-on-red, and we use as a guide the question: ‘Would we issue a ticket if a police officer were present?’ Our statistics are public and the hearings are public. The city entered into this innovative approach to help improve safety as were asked again and again to do by residents and guests alike."

According to the Lauzen press release, Duffy will speak against red-light cameras as the lead sponsor of legislation that would restrict and eliminate these devices. Peter Breen, chairman and founder of BanRedCams.com, will also speak and endorse Lauzen based on his opposition to red-light cameras.

Sandy Scholl February 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM
What do you mean you do not issue tickets? What would the purpose be of the cameras then? The revenue these 2 intersectons has produced for the city are enormous, yet the street I live on still remains in disrepair - sorry I digress. We all know the most dangerous intersection is Kaneville and Randall. Fargo and Randall as well as Williamburg and Randall are turns into shopping centers. It is a total farce to attempt to guise something under safety when it is really all about the revenue.
Chad Baker February 17, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Justin - I actually have a long list of Kevin Burns issues. I was just trying to stick to the subject of the article. My #2 issue is the train station parking lot payment machine fiasco.
Justin Eggar February 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Larry, out of curiosity.. is it that you dislike the technology component of it? For instance, if a police officer was stationed at an intersection that is prone to accidents... would that be an affront to liberty as well? Or if an officer was tasked to a park to decrease <insert crime here>. Is the affront that the deed is captured when there wasn't enough effort put into the capture? Or, that we as humans dislike the fact that we have a harder time beating the system? Or that it dehumanizes us to some extent? That's specifically in regards to the red light cameras. As I said, I'm not a fan because they cause additional issues. I understand the Orwellian nature of the issue... just trying to understand the "affront to liberty" if you will. Thanks Larry!
Justin Eggar February 18, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Thanks for your answer Chad - I had thought that it was the "deal breaker" based on: "I hadn’t even planned on voting in the Republican primary. But based on this article I will be voting for Chris Lauzen." As a piece in a larger puzzle though it makes a lot more sense for me. Have a good weekend.
Larry J. Frieders February 20, 2012 at 03:45 PM
The affront to liberty is the growing list of methods being deployed to keep an eye on free citizens. If there is such a thing as an intersection that is prone to accidents, the solution is to fix what it is that makes that place more vulnerable to accidents. Merely watching and collecting fines doesn't resolve whatever the underlying issues may be. In a similar manner, adding watchful eyes to a supposedly dangerous park doesn't make the park safer - unless every possibility for an area of crime is under observation. Again, the park can probably be made safer without the need for additional police officers. Mere observing is one thing. Making a record of it is something else. We're free to watch people. WE're not free to photograph them without permission, and we certainly are prohibited from posting their photographs publicly or profiting from the sale of their pictures without permission. Yet, the government sees no issue with photographing our vehicles - and the occupants. We seem to be confusing the acts of missing a red light with actual accidents. Using the accident conversation makes it easier to "sell" the invasion of personal liberty that happens each time the government takes my picture or records my activities. The camera issue is designed to look like a safety issue when it is actually generating revenue. That is a form of taxation that involves spying on otherwise innocent citizens - illegal in the basic sense of liberty, but tolerated nonetheless.


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