With revenue dropping and their effectiveness in crash prevention questioned, towns ask if red-light cameras are worth it.

CHICAGO (AP) – Some municipal officials in Illinois are rethinking the use of red-light cameras as the number of tickets drop and groups question whether the cameras are effective in reducing crashes.

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The Chicago suburb of Bellwood, for example, brought in $1.1 million from motorists caught on camera running lights during the program’s peak in 2008. This year, officials say net revenues are near $250,000.

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The Chicago Tribune reports that some officials tout that as proof that the red-light cameras are making streets safer. But University of Illinois adjunct professor Rajiv Shah says he’s studied the effectiveness of such cameras in Chicago and found that they don’t nab the type of violators who cause the most serious crashes.

The Tribune reports that some municipalities have decided against red-light cameras due to community opposition.

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