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Red-Light Cameras – Woodstock?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Red-Light Cameras – Woodstock?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 22, 2008

After watching the driver of a large, clean, red Dodge pick-up (license 49161 FireFighter) blow the red light a few minutes ago (6:33PM, to be exact) on westbound Lake Avenue at Route 47, I began wondering whether Woodstock should join the parade of towns and villages in northern Illinois to install red-light cameras at traffic lights.

I was stopped in the right-turn lane on southbound 47 at Lake Avenue, waiting on a red light for westbound traffic to clear. It’s possible to see the light for westbound traffic, and I watched it change from green to yellow. Now, in some places that’s a warning to drivers that the red light will soon follow and, again, in some places, drivers begin to slow and stop.

Not the guy in the red truck! When the light changed to yellow, he was the third vehicle from the light. The first vehicle proceeded, the second vehicle sped up, and doggone if the (couldn’t be a firefighter, could it?) tailgated the second vehicle v-e-r-y closely through the red light. Now, maybe he knew him; maybe he knew he wouldn’t stop on the yellow. Maybe he never does.

It’s a good thing the second vehicle didn’t stop; maybe he was afraid to stop. He saved himself a significant rear-end collision by not stopping. A big red Dodge Ram pick-up truck will do a lot of damage to a smaller vehicle in front of it.

The Dodge driver was, I guess, in a big hurry to get to Fremont Street, where he had to stop and wait for oncoming traffic before turning left. That gave me a chance to catch up and read his plate.

Writing red light tickets is hard for cops. They’ve got to be where they can see the violator and not be seen by him. They’ve got to be where they can give chase. It’s usually a 2- or 3-man operation to be successful, and Woodstock PD just doesn’t have that kind of manpower.

I did read recently that Woodstock PD will be cracking down on traffic violators. Good! Maybe they can nail 49161 F/F and put some points on this dangerous driver’s record in Springfield. No Court Supervision, please! And no pass for the F/F plate!

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