Thanks for the red-light cameras story [A street paved with gold, News, Jan. 11].

I turn right on Lake from Harlem multiple times weekly and in the summer received two tickets within a month. I contested one as, after watching the video multiple times, I thought I could make the case that I stopped. The hearing officer (a retired judge) looked at the video for a nano-second and said “you didn’t stop.” I made a comment explaining that I actually did and he became agitated and dismissive. No use in trying to continue the discussion, so I went to pay the ticket.

I exchanged casual banter with the clerk about how the only purpose of the red-light camera was to generate revenue for River Forest. She glanced over her shoulder as if to see if anyone was in earshot — there wasn’t — and she nodded in agreement, then said if one regularly uses the intersection, the odds are likely that they’ll get a ticket. 

I was going to contest the second one but was out of town on the hearing date. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The process is a sham.

I wonder what percentage of tickets at Harlem and Lake are issued to River Forest residents? I’ve long-thought — way before I was ticketed — that the placement on Harlem was designed to minimize the chance for RF residents getting a ticket. Local residents who shop at the stores there wouldn’t need to be on Harlem. And there’s no corresponding red-light camera for the right turn from Lake to Harlem which would expose River Foresters to a ticket.

I may be wrong, but I bet the majority of the tickets are to non-RF residents.

Thanks for putting a spotlight on River Forest’s “gold mine.”

Gary Wilson

Oak Park

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