Arlington Heights poised to opt out of red-light cameras

Published: 6/18/2010 11:59 PM

The Arlington Heights village board is expected to pass a resolution Monday night opting out of Cook County's plan to install red-light cameras at intersections within municipalities.

Trustees will also consider an ordinance outlawing such devices without the board's permission. It specifies that a company installing the cameras "either on its own behalf, or on behalf of the County of Cook or other governmental entity" will face a fine up to $500 a day.

This is still necessary because Cook County commissioners might "change their mind" about giving municipalities the right to veto the cameras in their jurisdictions, said Jack Siegel, village attorney for both Arlington Heights and Schaumburg. The Arlington Heights board voted unanimously June 7 to have the ordinance drafted.

Arlington Heights officials expressed anger when they learned that at the beginning of June the county board named 30 sites within suburbs where the cameras might be installed. These included three intersections in Arlington Heights, where village authorities had earlier decided not to install red-light cameras on their own.

The county board voted on June 15 to allow municipalities to reject the cameras after several communities objected to the plan, and Schaumburg passed an ordinance similar to the one Arlington Heights will consider Monday.

The Buffalo Grove village board will consider a resolution urging the county to continue to cooperate with the village board. Trustees want to see how the county's camera program would work before making a decision whether to join it, said Ghida Neukirch, deputy village manager. Buffalo Grove trustees earlier had rejected red-light cameras installed by the village, she said. The county has proposed up to three for Buffalo Grove.

It is thought that some municipalities might negotiate with the county to allow the installation of the lights, but Arlington Heights has been adamant that they are not wanted.