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Lauzen Makes Red-Light Camera Point in Burns' Back Yard

Kane County Board chairman candidate state Sen. Chris Lauzen provides the perfect photo op to emphasize his opposition to red-light cameras—the intersection of Randall Road and Williamsburg Avenue in Geneva.

Kane County Board chairman candidate Chris Lauzen underlined his opposition to red-light cameras Thursday afternoon and dotted the exclamation point with a flourish by making his statement under a red-light camera in his opponent's home town.

Standing under a sign that read "Red Light Photo Enforced" at the intersection of Randall Road and Williamsburg Avenue in Geneva, Lauzen visually illustrated that his position on red-light cameras is very different than that of Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns.

Lauzen brought three supporters who formally endorsed his candidacy and spoke passionately against the use of red-light cameras as law-enforcement tools.

Some of the rhetoric was heavily charged.

"Chris' opponent, the mayor who placed the red-light camera in this intersection, has a long record of using red-light cameras to raid the pocketbooks of the people of Kane County," said Peter Breen, a Lombard village trustee and founder of BanRedCams.com.

"That mayor is the one who thinks so little of the plight of small business that he would welcome customers to one of Geneva's largest shopping centers with a red-light camera. That mayor is dedicated to the cause of lining the pockets of government."

Williamsburg Avenue is one of the gateways to the Geneva Commons shopping center.

Also speaking at the press conference were 26th District state Sen. Dan Duffy, the sponsor of several bills opposing red-light cameras, and Warren Redmond, president of No More Cameras, described on Redmond's business card as "an Illinois PAC dedicated to getting rid of red-light cameras."

Redmond said he opposes the cameras because they represent a corrupt and dangerous program.

"I don't think the government needs to rape the taxpayers," he said.

Duffy said Lauzen "has been a co-sponsor every step of the way" of legislation Duffy has proposed regarding the regulation of red-light cameras.

On Wednesday, Burns made a statement supporting some of the legislation Duffy has proposed and emphasized that red-light-camera tickets are not a big revenue generator in Geneva, where the majority of tickets issued are warning tickets.

"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," Burns said Wednesday. "The city entered into this innovative approach to help improve safety as (we) were asked again and again to do by residents and guests alike."

Lauzen said the approach doesn't work and he would actively lobby against red-light cameras if he were Kane County Board chairman.

"Just because we have the technology to do something doesn't mean we should do it," Lauzen said.

Jon Zahm February 17, 2012 at 04:32 AM
I attended this event and found the speakers very strong in their arguments and the statistics they presented. This is a real Achilles Heel for Mayor Burns. I remember when Batavia ran Alderman Waters our of public office over his support of Photo Cop on Kirk Road, The people of Kane County don't like Big Brother or Big Sister government.
Bob McQuillan February 17, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Who is kidding who here? The following is taken directly from the Geneva Police website. Citations have increased at an alarming rate since March 2010 when they were installed, yet the causes of crashes aren't related to red lights! Mayor Burns needs to do some research before he speaks about red light cameras. http://www.geneva.il.us/pd/PDFFiles/RedlightJustificationReportRW.pdf http://www.geneva.il.us/pd/PDFFiles/RedlightJustificationReportRF.pdf Citations will be issued to registered vehicle owners who run red lights without stopping; make right turns against red lights without stopping; and stop after crossing the limit line/stop bar while making a right turn against a red light, forcing a pedestrian into the roadway. Q: Why does the City of Geneva photo enforce right turn on red violations? A: Turning right on red (where permitted) without stopping is a violation of the law. While crashes from right turning violations are typically less severe than crashes associated with left turn or through movement violations, they do occur. Red light enforcement of right turns is a tool that can be used to help the motorists pay more attention and respect to alternative modes of travel. There are also legal implications to selectively enforcing violations of only certain movements.
Patrick Sharpe February 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Who gets the money from the ticket? I heard that the camera company that installs the camera gets 50% and city and courts get the other 50%.
Jeff Ward February 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Patrick, It depends upon the contract the municipality signs. Sometimes it's 50/50, but in other instances the camera company gets paid first up to a certain base amount and then the city takes the rest. I don't remember Geneva's setup. The bottom line is I thought we called a private company that profited from crime "the mob." Jeff
Brian blackmore February 17, 2012 at 03:40 PM
We were issued a tickets for entering intersection 1 tenth of a second late. Common sense is not used when issuing a ticket. Get rid of these things !
Sue Tills February 17, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Wow, from those reports Bob McQuillan posted it seems like the red light cameras are actually causing more accidents from people slamming on their breaks when the light turns yellow to avoid getting a ticket. This may be just my assumption, but the reports definitely don't show any improvement in the accident rates.
Karl Brubaker February 17, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Kev said: "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," Burns said Wednesday. "The city entered into this innovative approach to help improve safety as (we) were asked again and again to do by residents and guests alike." Geneva PDF file says: RED LIGHT RUNNING CITATION ISSUED 2007 -31 2008 -21 2009 -11 2010 -3121 (holy cow) 1/1-3/9/11 -517 (holy cow again) Total 3701 Should Burns retract his statement or am I not reading the report correctly?
Chad Baker February 17, 2012 at 08:09 PM
“Not a big revenue generator for Geneva” 3121 citations is: $312,100 I pulled some red light camera statements in 2011 via FOIA and the City of Geneva was collecting $45,000 a month after paying off the red light camera light company. This is completely about revenue, not safety. Kevin Burns seems to have an ongoing problem with getting the facts straight.
Jeanne Letizia February 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I wish I had known about this visit and had been there. I live right by the intersection and LOVE the red light camera!!! If drivers obey they law, rules of the road, and posted speed limits, they will NEVER be cited for any moving violation, camera or no camera. The cameras keep the intersection safe!!! Their mere presence reminds/motivates people to obey traffic laws, so that less infractions take place. Residents in my neighborhood also feel safer using the pedestrian crossing at Williamsburg TO GET TO THE MALL or hospital, or walking paths, or to visit friends, etc. since the red light camera at Randall and Williamsburg was installed. Again I LOVE the red light camera and I will be sad to see it go!
Chad Baker February 20, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Jeanne, What makes you believe the intersection is safer with the red light cameras? Have you reviewed the data? There is no statistically significant difference in the amount of accidents at this intersection before versus after the cameras were installed.
Rick Anderson February 20, 2012 at 05:40 PM
With red light camera infraction revenues running like they are the new $500,000 software the city council caved in for will be paid for in no time! Were 2% 10 days, net 30 terms negotiated McKittrick and Burns? Unlikely.
Jeanne Letizia February 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Chad, I already explained why I believe the red light cameras keep the intersection safe. Studies are subjective and ongoing. As a local resident that drives or walks on that intersection many times every day, I LOVE the red light cameras!
Chad Baker February 21, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Jeanne, I didn't refer to any of the studies that have been done. I was referring to pure data, before the cameras versus after the cameras. The data is factual, you are looking at it subjectively. Belief based on feeling and belief based on facts are two different things.
Rick Anderson February 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I think red light cameras are a source of revenue just like the casinos are for local governments. Where elese are you going to get revenue from those that don't go to the casino but like to gamble whilst driving by eating, doing nails, shaving, talking on phone, texting, anticipating the next road rage outburst........ Keep the cameras and add more.
Lou B. March 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
If you've noticed the increase of red light runners between 1995 and 2005 as I did, and the deaths caused as a result, why not support red light cameras. This is hardly an infringement on our liberties, and I feel more secure knowing that the laws are being enforced, effeciently, and with full camera review possible. After watching cars run the lights at 68 and Dunton I called the st. Charles PD asking for patrol at that intersection, and was told it was not in the budget. Remember the mom and her stroller run over in Chicago by a runner? I do. It's the right choice, the choice for public safety and respect for the laws.
Michael smith March 01, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Well seeing how it's not about revenue then why doesn't the city hire 3 new officers and post the officers there at the intersections? $312,000 per year should cover the costs. As Kevin burns has said they only issue tickets as if an officer was present.

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