Naperville council votes to end red light cameras

November 2, 2011

(WBEZ/file)
Naperville installed red light cameras in 2008, and quickly eliminated right turn on red violations because of uproar.

West suburban Naperville is ending it's red-light camera program. A split vote on Tuesday resulted in the council nixing the red light camera program. They cited statistics that show red light cameras have reduced collisions at some intersections.

But two of the city's three cameras must be removed during upcoming construction. Council members have debated whether it makes financial sense to keep the last camera.

Karen DeAngelis is the Director of Finance for the city of Naperville. She said the average net monthly revenue is $65,000 dollars from all three cameras. The average monthly maintenance is $29,000 dollars. DeAngelis said the remaining camera is at the least violated of all intersections, so it may not result in the city making money off of it.

Councilman Bob Fieseler said that's in part because motorists have become more cautious and there are now fewer violations.

"Let's take government out of the enforcement business until there's a problem," Fieseler said.

Fieseler said the question remains as to whether violations will creep back up without the cameras.

In January, Naperville will go back to catching motorists entirely the old fashioned way with police officers.

Stopping the camera program will pile an additional $200,000 dollars to the city's $1.9 million dollar shortfall in next year's budget.