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Local

Algonquin Village Board votes to remove red light cameras in April

ALGONQUIN – The Village Board voted unanimously Tuesday to shut down the village's automated red light enforcement program, effective April 30.

The vote follows a recommendation to discontinue the program from Village Manager Tim Schloneger, who said the program had achieved its goal of changing driver behavior.

The decision will remove red light cameras at Randall and Algonquin roads, and from the Randall Road intersections at Bunker Hill and Huntington drives. A camera previously at Routes 31 and 62 was removed during construction of the Algonquin Western Bypass, Schloneger said.

According to data from Schloneger, the number of violations ticketed by the cameras decreased from 6,937 in 2009, the first full year after the cameras were installed, to 1,766 in 2015, a drop of 74.5 percent.

Data also showed there was an immediate drop in crashes at intersections with red lights cameras in 2009, and the number of crashes has stayed consistent since, even as the number of violations dropped.

Village President John Schmitt said the high rate of crashes at certain intersections caused the village to install the cameras in 2008 and touted the lowered crash rate after Tuesday's vote.

"I think we've done the job of educating the public that you don't run red lights and you don't cut people off," Schmitt said. "Hopefully, that will remain consistent."

Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Jeff Sutrick said the police department has an officer evaluate each violation before a ticket is issued, and that officer will now be able to patrol the streets rather than looking at those violations.

Schloneger said earlier this week the village was not concerned about losing revenue from red light tickets because the village had never counted on that revenue to fund operating expenses. The village still could bring cameras back if there is a spike in crash rates, he said.

According to previous Northwest Herald reporting, Lake in the Hills, Lakemoor and Fox River Grove also have red light cameras.

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