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Put red light cameras to use catching drivers who endanger our lives on expressways

Drivers on the shoulders of expressways are often moving at speeds that would be deadly if another driver had to suddenly use the shoulder for an actual emergency.

A red light camera enforcement sign on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park in 2008,
A red light camera enforcement sign on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park in 2008,
Sun-Times Media

Here’s a suggestion that makes so much sense that it has little chance of being adopted by the powers-that-be: Get rid of the annoying and ineffective red light cameras and deploy the technology where it could actually reduce traffic accidents and deaths — on the shoulders of our busiest expressways.

Fact: Red light cameras do not reduce traffic accidents, according to a study by Case-Western University in July 2018. They do however, feed the budgets of the municipalities that deploy them.

Fact: Shoulder-riding not only causes accidents, but causes fatal accidents, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study finds that approximately 12% of all interstate highway deaths are a result of shoulder accidents.

Fact: The Eisenhower Expressway recently received the dubious honor of being named the most congested expressway in the nation by INRIX, a transportation analytics firm.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

The COVID-era light traffic patterns are now a thing of the past and as I drive inbound each weekday afternoon on the Ike, I regularly see five or more shoulder drivers, just on the stretch from Mannheim to 1st Avenue. They are often moving at speeds that would be deadly if another driver had to suddenly use the shoulder for an actual emergency.

Post signs, place cameras and fine these dangerous drivers $500 for the first infraction and possible jail time for repeat offenders. Let’s put this technology to use where it can actually save lives, not just add dollars to the coffers of cash-strapped municipalities.

Michael Malone, Glen Ellyn

Blaming Republicans for Illinois’ fiscal mess

I was very amused and at the same time outraged reading last Friday’s story on possible state budget cuts.

Illinois Democrats must think all of us are stupid. They have had a vise-like grip on Springfield for decades. They have held a super-majority in both houses for quite some time. They make all the rules, draw all the legislative boundaries, and NOW they want to tell us that Illinois’ fiscal future is in jeopardy because of Illinois Republican policies.

How gullible do they think we are?

Tony LaMantia, Logan Square

Hoops Hall of Fame

Another great Chicago basketball player was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. With all due respect to Toni Kukoc, I’m talking about Yolanda Griffith. Her career at Carver High was instrumental in the growth of girls’ basketball in inner-city schools. Her dedication to her family over her passion for the game she loved is inspiring. She is a part of our city’s history and well deserving of the honor bestowed on her.

Congratulations Hall of Famer!

Paul Koehler, Rogers Park

Feral cats vs. rats

As to recent opinions about feral cats and rats, I have a thought. If I were a cat and had the choice of trying to eat a sparrow or a rat, I’m going for the sparrow every time. Have you seen the teeth and claws on a rat?

John Hankes, Geneva