Red light camera almost ready to flash

River Forest traffic monitor should be operational in a month

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By Deb Kadin

Contributing Reporter

Drivers beware: The red light camera at Lake Street and Harlem Avenue will go online in a month. More than a year after the camera on Harlem at North Avenue went live, the River Forest village board Monday authorized an intergovernmental agreement with Cook County allowing for the device to be installed on Forest Preserve District property.

As part of the agreement, River Forest will pay $12,000 annually for the use of the property, which Village Administrator Eric Palm said was a first for the county.

That was part of the reason it took so long to get this done, Palm said. The county did not have a model for doing this, Palm said. 

So what will this mean? 

Southbound motorists will trigger the red-light camera on Harlem Avenue when they make any moving violations once the light has turned red, such as running the light or failing to come to a complete stop before turning left or right onto Lake. Because the light in question is on the northwest corner of that intersection, infractions fall under River Forest jurisdiction.

When the violation occurs, a 19-20 second snippet of video is shot, and the film goes to SafeSpeed, which runs the program for the village. The infractions are sent to the police department, where officers review the footage and decide whether to approve or reject the infraction.

If approved, the citation goes to the driver, who can review the film online or at a kiosk on the second floor of village hall. Drivers can pay the $100 ticket or appeal the citation in person or in writing. In either case, a hearing officer will review the video and determine if the ticket was issued correctly or in error.

Drivers who feel they still are in the right can request a hearing in traffic court at Maybrook courthouse, which they must set up themselves.

River Forest get 60 percent of the fees generated from both cameras; 40 percent goes to SafeSpeed. The village estimates receiving $500,000 during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins May 1.

Reader Comments

12 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

I love cameras from River Forest  

Posted: July 14th, 2014 1:20 AM

I support anything that helps enforce traffic laws. I don't care who "benefits" because we all benefit. What gets on my last nerve, however, is the group-think bizarre pedestrian behavior at that intersection. I honestly wish they would spend the money they make from the cameras putting plain-clothed cops at every point along there and ticketing every single bad citizen who intentionally jumps off the curb against the lights causing traffic tie ups, brakes slammed, sick examples for kids, etc.

No cop no stop from Oak Park  

Posted: April 30th, 2014 8:34 AM

I've pretty much stopped turning on red on any lights nowadays, due to the ever-increasing presence of these ticket-issuing cameras. I swear some intersections used to allow turns on red, but then changed after the cameras were installed. The sign that informs you is often times 30 feet or more before the intersection, so I never risk it, just in case I missed seeing it.

Chris from OP  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 11:09 PM

Sorry (c)(3) not (3.5)

Chris  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 11:08 PM

You can actually turn left on red going from a one-way street to another one-way street 625 ILCS 5/11-306(c)(3.5)

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 8:22 PM

First of all, Bill fm OP, I was responding to the wording in the article, not your post, so sorry if you got your hair all up over that, pal. Glad you look both ways when turning. Me too. It's why I'm still alive and not in a wheel chair. As for turning left on red, if it doesn't involve an green arrow, it's illegal.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 8:03 PM

@Bill Dwyer. Who said anything about left on red? Don't know about you, but I look left before I turn right on red when heading on to Lake from southbound Harlem. Hope you do too. And actually there is such thing as a left turn on red. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_turn_on_red#Left_turn_on_red Do it often in the loop.

RF Semisweet  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 6:34 PM

Remember - this is the Village grabbing your money. The Township respects the taxpayers

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 5:57 PM

There is no such thing as 'left turn on red.' If you're turning left, you have to have a green, and so, except for for oncoming traffic, there is no need to stop. If you turn left on red, the cops aren't going to care if you stopped first or not.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 5:23 PM

When you come to a complete stop at the big white stop line and look east onto Lake, you can't see past the old Border's to make sure no oncoming traffic will hit you. If you pull up and stop again does that constitute a moving violation? What it you come to a complete stop past the big white line? RF should be embarrassed for raising revenue this way.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 1:48 PM

I turn right on red all the time, where it's allowed. But there's NO such thing as a partial stop. You either STOP, or you don't stop. And if there is a pedestrian waiting to walk at the intersection, I don't proceed. This isn't rocket science.

Brian from Oak Park  

Posted: April 29th, 2014 1:00 PM

Thanks for the clarification @Bridget. Personally, I never turn right at a red light intersection anymore. It makes folks angry and creates traffic backups. But, I just don't want to fight the ticket if one appears in error. How do they distinguish "no turn on red when pedestrians are present" truly baffles me. Better to cause more traffic congestion.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2014 1:07 PM

To those heading southbound on Harlem, wanting to turn right on Lake, heading west into River Forest: BE WARNED: Come to a COMPLETE stop before turning right on red. If your wheels do not come to a complete stop, you will be issued a $100 ticket. No rolling through, no matter how slowly. The camera clearly records whether or not your wheels have stopped rotating. River Forest has *already* collected on a half a million bucks in fines at their North Ave./Harlem red light.

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