interesting.THE NAPERVILLE SUN
Smile, you're off camera
Red light program stops after officials say it's done its job
November 8, 2007
By Paige Winfield Staff writer
Six months after police installed traffic signal cameras at three Bolingbrook intersections, they are suspending the program.
The purpose of the program was to teach drivers to come to a complete stop at intersections, said Roger Claar, mayor of Bolingbrook. Never intended to be permanent, the cameras have resulted in a drop in accidents, he said.
"We've changed the behavior of drivers, so now we're going to pull it for a few months," Claar said. "It's going to be re-evaluated over the next few months to see if people are violating red lights and right turns on reds."
The cameras were installed in May at Boughton and Weber roads, as well as Schmidt and Pinecrest. Drivers photographed crossing the white line before coming to a complete stop were mailed $100 tickets.
Bolingbrook police report that in the six months since the cameras operated, accidents at the intersections were reduced by an average of 40 percent compared to the same months last year.
Changing driving habits
Traffic tickets issued by the police department skyrocketed under the ever-watchful eyes of the cameras. In July, 2,132 tickets for red-light violations were mailed, compared to 786 tickets handwritten by officers for other traffic violations during that month.
Although ticket recipients complain the enforcement program was all about raising revenue, Claar said it was solely designed to change drivers' habits.
"The percentage of people that violated red lights is astounding," he said.
Claar said police will decide whether to re-start the program next spring, after they spend a few months reviewing accident data and the cameras' effectiveness.
Naperville still go
The decision to suspend the Bolingbrook program will have no effect on plans in Naperville to install four cameras in December, said Naperville Traffic Commander Mike Anders.
City officials are still debating where to place the cameras, which will probably start photographing drivers at the beginning of next year.
"Everything's moving forward right now," Anders said. "Hopefully they will be up and running with an initial 30-day warning period starting in January."
Contact Paige Winfield at [email protected] or 630-416-5275.