No need for speed cameras here, McHenry County officials say

The Chicago City Council approved speed cameras Wednesday, but officials from several local municipalities say they aren’t interested in installing their own.

The cameras, which Chicago aldermen say will save lives, are to be installed near parks and schools in the city.

Fines for driving six to 10 mph over speed limits range from $35 to $50, and motorists caught going more than 11 mph faster than the speed limit will be fined $100.

Warning tickets will be issued for the first 30 days, and first-time violators will be issued one warning ticket before they are fined.

Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson said the Village Board made a policy decision years ago against both red-light and speed cameras, and he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.

“It was something that the board at the time didn’t think the village wanted,” he said. “If you look at them from the public safety element that they’ve been kind of championed as, knock on wood, we haven’t had a lot of incidents at our major intersections. Although that was prior to the widening of Route 47.”

Before Route 47 was widened, the majority of the traffic moved so slowly there wasn’t a need for speed cameras. The widening didn’t change that, he said.

Algonquin, however, has three red-light cameras: at routes 31 and 62, Randall and Algonquin roads, and Bunker Hill Drive and Randall Road.

They were installed in 2008 to reduce accidents at those intersections, Village President John Schmitt said.

Since the cameras were put in place, there has been a 35 percent reduction in car accidents at those intersections, and a 25 percent reduction at all intersections in the village, Schmitt said.

“Red-light cameras have been extremely useful in reducing accidents, and that’s the purpose,” Schmitt said.

However, no one on the Village Board has requested looking at speed cameras, Schmitt said, adding he would be against them.

“We don’t have a significant problem on any other of our streets any more than any other communities,” he said. “[Speed cameras] are way more than what is reasonable.”

Crystal Lake doesn’t have any red-light cameras and isn’t considering speed cameras, Deputy Police Chief Gene Lowery said.

Mayor Aaron Shepley said he doesn’t expect the City Council to consider them anytime soon.

“I personally don’t support [cameras],” he said. “It doesn’t do anything other than anger people and raise revenue, and I don’t think it’s an appropriate way to generate revenue.”

Crystal Lake rarely follows the initiatives of Chicago, Shepley added.

• The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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