Should curfews for teens in Oak Park and River Forest match up? That’s the opinion River Forest Police Chief Gregory Weiss expressed at Monday’s village board meeting where he found both support and some disagreement among elected officials.

As it currently stands, River Forest residents under 17 years old are not allowed to be out in public places in the village between midnight and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, unless accompanied by an adult or engaged in one of a number of activities outlined in the curfew ordinance, including religious or educational activities.

Oak Park’s ordinance is essentially the same, except that it applies to residents up to 18 years old. River Forest is considering the same age requirement.

According to Weiss, one of the main concerns is that 17-year-old River Forest residents who go out after midnight in Oak Park would be violating the neighboring village’s rules, but not those of River Forest.

“As soon as they cross Harlem, they’re in violation of the curfew law and they don’t have a license anymore,” Weiss said.

“I personally feel that because we work so closely together, and the kids interact so closely, there should be some parity,” Weiss said of the two villages.

Most trustees agreed with Weiss.

“I don’t think we need to add this extra level of law enforcement,” Conti said. “I’m not convinced that it’s the right thing to do for our kids.”

In other business, the board again discussed the possibility of installing red light cameras at two busy intersections in town. Village President John Rigas said the idea was first promoted by Frank Limon, a former police chief. The designated sites for the cameras would be at North and Harlem and Harlem and Lake. Drivers caught on camera turning right on red before coming to a full stop would be subject to a fine.

Rigas said those two intersections have seen far more accidents than any others in town, and red light cameras should work to caution motorists and prevent accidents.

The board asked that Weiss come back at a future meeting with more information about the documented safety value of the cameras, and largely agreed that if the cameras can be proven to reduce accidents, they are worth considering for River Forest.

Conti, however, disagreed. “I really don’t want the citizens to be afraid that we’re going to take their pictures, and put our hands in their pockets, and take $100,” she said. “If we had some intersections that were a real, apparent problem, I think this would be a good tool to use. I don’t think the evidence that we’ve seen supports it.”

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