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Red-Light Cameras - Algonquin's Next

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Red-Light Cameras - Algonquin's Next

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
January 24, 2008

Three cheers to the Village of Algonquin for plans to install red-light cameras at several intersections.

Red-light running is a huge problem in McHenry County. Why is that? What it shows is utter disregard by drivers for traffic laws. When a driver approaches a "stale" green light (one that has been green a long time), he should anticipate that the light might change to yellow and red. And, anticipating that, begin the thought process that will result in a go/no-go decision.

As you get closer to the light, you'll reach a point where, if the light changes, it will be safe and appropriate to proceed through on the yellow light - and the point after which you will be unable to stop before entering the intersection after the light turns red.

Too many drivers believe the yellow light means Go, no matter what. Well, watch oncoming traffic. Is an oncoming car stopped, waiting to complete a left turn in front of you? Will that driver proceed on his yellow, believing you will stop? It's not worth it.

Red-light tickets are "good" tickets. The systems are designed to identify violators and produce tickets. The ticket is sent to the owner of the vehicle, not to the driver. Does anyone else drive a vehicle that is registered in your name? Better go over red-light rules with them and remind them that, when they are driving your car, they are to obey traffic laws.

Will Algonquin excuse owners who claim they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, IF the owner identifies the person who was driving?

OK, who's next? What jurisdiction controls other traffic lights on Randall Road, such as the light at Randall Road and Route 72? Is that Elgin? That one has to be one of the worst intersections for red-light violations in this area!

If you find yourself approaching a stale green that changes to yellow, pay close attention to exactly where your vehicle is in relation to the nearest curb line of the intersecting road. Also, note exactly where your vehicle is when the light turns red. If you are entering the intersection after the light turns red, you are violating the law. Likewise, if you "enter" the intersection on the yellow and it changes to red after you enter the intersection, you are not violating the law.

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