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County board could give yellow light on cameras
Under proposal, suburbs could opt out of camera program

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Dan Hinkel

Suburban communities could opt out of Cook County's plan to use red-light cameras to ticket drivers under an amendment county commissioners plan to submit next week.

The proposed amendment, sponsored by suburban commissioners Larry Suffredin, Timothy Schneider and Gregg Goslin, would allow suburbs to exclude themselves from the plan to install the cameras at intersections along county-maintained roads, Goslin said.

Asked whether any suburb would opt in on the plan, under which county officials say no ticket revenue would be shared with the municipalities, Goslin said, "I can't answer that."

The amendment will be introduced at the county board meeting Tuesday, Goslin said.

Cook County's red-light camera plan has already drawn opposition from some suburban leaders, who have complained that it was launched without their input. The village boards of Arlington Heights and Schaumburg have already passed resolutions against the plan, with Schaumburg trustees further approving an ordinance banning the installation of red-light cameras within the village without local consent.

"Not only are they usurping our local control, but they had no courtesy to even inform us," Arlington Heights Village President Arlene Mulder said.

County commissioners last week voted to install the cameras all around the suburbs, and the county released a list of 30 "top candidate" intersections. Only 20 would actually get cameras when the devices are rolled out, which county officials said they hope will be later this year.

County officials have said the plan is aimed at increasing safety, not collecting revenue. The county does not plan to share that revenue with host communities.

Freelance reporter Graydon Megan contributed to this report.

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