Daily Herald
Fox Lake ready to flip on red-light cam at routes 134 and 12
By Lee Filas | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 4/26/2010 3:27 PM

Fox Lake officials are ready to start taking pictures and videos of cars running red lights at routes 134 and 12.

Police Chief Mike Behan said warning tickets will be issued until May 15, followed by moving violations sent through the mail to motorists who do not stop for the red light at that intersection.

"We have been warning residents of the dangers of that intersection for a long time, and have been warning (that) these cameras would soon go online," Behan said. "Hopefully, with the national exposure red light cameras have had, and with the police warning everyone the camera is ready to go in, the amount of personal injury accidents at that intersection will decrease significantly."

The cameras will be completely installed by April 30, and specifically positioned to focus on the westbound lanes of Route 134 and the southbound lanes of Route 12, he said. North Route 12 and east Route 134 will not be equipped with cameras.

"We have always said we are doing this to specifically try to cut down on the accidents there," he said. "Those directions are where the most accidents are."

The village averages about one accident a week at routes 12 and 134. In comparison, the next most dangerous intersection - Route 173 and Wilmot Road - averages less than two a month, Behan said.

Violators will receive the ticket in the mail. The ticket will have three pictures of the vehicle in the intersection, and direct the motorist to go online to view a 30-second video of their vehicle.

Behan said all the intersection pictures and video will be viewed by a Fox Lake police officer before any citations are issued.

Anyone who wants to contest a ticket will be able to do so by going to Fox Lake's administrative court and retired 19th Circuit Court Judge Henry Tonnigan, he said. Tonnigan holds similar courts in Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer and Gurnee, and is considered an expert on red-light cameras.

During the court process, people will be allowed to show the video, interview witnesses, or hire a lawyer if need be, Behan said. Tonnigan will make the final decision on the traffic violation.

Behan also said motorists will not be ticketed for turning right on red, as long as they come to a full stop at the intersection as required by law.

"It's as simple as this: I don't care where they stop, as long as they stop," he said. "People can stop before, on, or just past the white line. It doesn't matter. As long as they stop, they will not be ticketed."