Red Light Cameras & School Stop Arm Violations

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There are times when serving the public that we have to do what is right for the community. While it may not always be the most popular decision at the time, it is our duty to do what is in the best interest to preserve lives and safety within the city of Rolling Meadows.

While you may not like the concept of red light cameras, or perhaps you don’t like the concept of “big brother,” rest assured that the sole purpose of this program is to enhance the life-safety of all who live in our community and travel our streets. Hopefully we can clarify some of the concerns that you have, and fill in the blanks by shedding some light on why we support this program.

Why use red light and school bus cameras?

One item that people continue to address are the right-turn on red violations. While people in general view these violations as irrelevant and a way to generate revenue. There is a high level of significance to these violations. The law states that all drivers must come to a COMPLETE stop when making a right-hand turn when the traffic signal is red. The law is the law, and you cannot ignore a red light even though you are turning right and yield at the intersection or roll through to make the right turn. You can not assume that your actions will have no impact on others. Just because you feel no one is around and NOT come to a COMPLETE stop prior to making your right hand turn. Question, would it also be safe to assume that you could proceed straight through the same red light if you also feel that your actions will not impact anyone else? Our guess is you would say no to both. Bottom line is you MUST come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red. ALL 4 tires must not be rolling at all. In regards to a school bus when the stop arm is out the law specifically states that a driver shall stop. This is for the safety of the children that are boarding and exiting the bus. 
All data is based on information derived from multiple sources and distributed by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The City of Rolling Meadows is NOT responsible for the accuracy of the data from IDOT. Current data is available here
Who views the violations?

There is a huge misconception by the public that we are giving out tickets to people who may or may not have stopped. This could not be further from the truth. Anyone who receives a violation notice in the mail, actually receives a video link so that they can watch themselves run the red light or violate the school bus stop arm. Unlike some other programs, this is not based off of a photo. It is solely based off of video of the violation that was viewed.. While there may be a private company who oversees the program and mails out the violations, they cannot do so without a Rolling Meadows Police Officer's approval of the citation. He or she looks at the video and decides by that evidence if a violation occurred taking the law and the fact if he or she was on patrol would that vehicle be stopped and issued a citation. On average, the Rolling Meadows Police Department dismisses 25% of potential violations. Again, this is not an automatic fine. Our Police Department estimates that roughly 1 of 5 violators who contest their citation, have it dismissed by an adjudicator. We believe this evidence shows that this is not a money-making scheme or revenue generator.

Why don't we just put a police officer to monitor for these violations?

The simple answer is that it's a safety concern. Traditional enforcement creates a safety hazard for other drivers, pedestrians, and the officer when a Police Officer chases the violator through the red light or around the stop arm of the school bus. The high-volume of traffic as well as positioning of a squad car at an intersection prohibits a Police Officer from sitting and monitoring red light compliance. It should also be noted that if we were able to place a Police Officer at these locations, there would only be a change in driver behavior.  We believe motorists would then revert back to their previous behaviors and run the red lights and not stop when a school bus stop arm is activated. We also believe this, because the data that was captured before the camera was installed indicated that drivers were showing no regard to the rules of the road, as red light violations were an issue, and school bus stop arms were being violated.  Although it would be great to have enough Police Officers on hand to catch every single speeder, reckless-driver,school bus stop arm violators,  and red light violators, the cost of having that many officers on the street makes it unrealistic. As such, the Rolling Meadows Police Department  must use all technology available to assist with the delivery of the law enforcement services we provide in the most effective, cost benefit, and efficient manner. This also allows police officers to be utilized within the city for other patrol assignments and in case there is an emergency that requires immediate police action.

To pay a Red Light Violation click here.
To pay a School bus stop arm violation click here