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.
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