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How FRG red light camera works

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

How FRG red light camera works

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 19, 2009

Maybe they all work this way, but I learned something about red-light cameras late this afternoon.

I was in Fox River Grove and traveling west on Route 22. As I approached U.S. 14, the light was red, and I made a full stop before reaching the stop bar. The stop bar was hard to see on the wet pavement, thanks to the cheap paint that IDOT uses. But I saw it and stopped before I reached it.

Having seen the Photo Enforcement sign on the right shoulder and the similar sign across the intersection, I made certain that I made a complete stop. One thousand one, one thousand two. You know the type of stop. Four wheels stopped. Vehicle stopped. The kind of stop that sometimes results in a remodeling job on your back bumper by the guy behind who doesn't expect you to stop.

When westbound U.S. 14 was clear, I turned right. Flash! Darn! Why did the red-light camera photograph my car?

I circled back around to see whether I had missed a "No Right Turn on Red" sign. No, there is no such sign.

So I telephoned the Fox River Grove P.D. to register my complaint. The dispatcher did not want to dispatch an officer and told me not to worry and that not everybody gets tickets.

The last time I heard "Don't worry about it", it cost me $656, so I did worry about it. I left a message for Sgt. Domagala, who is the red-light enforcement go-to guy at the Fox River Grove Police Department.

Within a few minutes he called me back. I obviously wasn't the only driver who has ever called him about this, and he gave me a clear explanation of how the ticketing program works.

The camera photographs any car that crosses the stop bar when the light is red. He told me that three employees of the camera company view the films and, if I had stopped before crossing the stop bar, the Fox River Grove PD will never see a violation notice.

This is probably the first time that I have ever turned right on a red at the photo-enforced intersection. Believe me, when I say that I'll never do it again. Not even after I make a full stop.



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