Bolingbrook, IL Red Light Speed Cameras – Tickets

I just found out that there is a town in the Chicago suburbs (Bolingbrook, IL) that is ticketing people via camera for running red lights when they just don’t stop completely behind the white line at intersections or don’t stop completley behind the white line before making a right hand turn on a red light. You don’t know it’s happening and you just get a $100.00 ticket in the mail. This is ludicrous. Those types of things don’t endanger anyone and aren’t worth ticketing usually. It’s that these local towns have heard how much money that is made by these Bolingbrook red light cameras (between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars a month of $100.00 tickets) when they are approached by the camera companies (who want to make sales) and since they always need more revenue for their pet projects and their budget, they always say yes and install them. Then they get all the revenue benefit of a property tax or sales tax increase without the public debate of a tax referendum. Sneaky bastards!

Take action today and make sure your town doesn’t end up like Bolingbrook, IL.These high priced and ridiculous red light camera tickets are going to keep people from paying what they need to in order to meet mortgage payments and afford health-care. Bolingbrook government and police should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of good citizens like this. I am not going to spend any money there at all anymore. They don’t deserve my sales tax dollars. They are acting like mafia, just taking whatever money they want for reasons that would otherwise be considered an invasion of privacy.

Thanks to the comment from Dennis I found this Tribune article about a lawsuit regarding the cameras around Chicago. It cites the truth that we all knew that these cameras were installed by Red Speed for revenue reasons and not safety purposes and how Bolingbrook and Schaumburg have both shut them down. I live near Warrenville though, and they choose to leave theirs up, which is scary to drive through every day, but they also publicly state that they review all photos by hand and only write tickets if they see something illegal and they don’t just let the system automatically write tickets. Those seem more reasonable.

And for all the politicians that like to rally support around the idea of keeping people from running red lights: Who ever runs red lights? If this is a problem how come I have never seen it happen? If this was an issue, the people who live there would be asking for help controlling it, but nobody ever sees red lights run because it doesn’t happen, and in fact there is no red light running problem at all. It is just a thinly veiled excuse to tax people without their approval by vote or referendum by dishonest politicians. Bravo to the Trib or printing this.

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27 thoughts on “Bolingbrook, IL Red Light Speed Cameras – Tickets

  1. Escondido, California is aparantly doing this as well. I don’t know if I will actually get the ticket but I set off the camera system at Valley Pkwy (heading westbound) and Auto Pkwy last night when I stopped beyond the line to make a legal right hand turn onto Northbound Auto Parkway. What angers me is that the line is actually set noticeably further back than I see at most other intersections. There isn’t even a crosswalk, the line is behind the radius in the curb. I am anxiously awaiting the ticket so that I can review the video. It will be funny to see the sequence of pictures photographing a staionary car. I was mesmorized by the flashes (it was pitch black) so I just sat there watching them wondering why in the world the cameras were going off. I checked their website, the cameras are set to photograph a car approaching the interesection at a speed greater than 15 MPH. I may have been going that fast as I slowed to a stop (as I have for 20 years) slightly ahead of where you would normally stop as to have visibility of traffic coming from the left. I sort of hope they do issue the ticket because the local media loves stories like this, and I promise this happened exactly as described. If anyone else has had a similar experience in Escondido, CA or anywhere else please email me at Malcolm.Shaw@Cox.net.

  2. I can understand your frustration, but in reality, not stopping at the line can be dangerous. Most of the time what is after the thick red line? A crosswalk. If you’re pulling up to a right hand turn and the lane to your left has a large enough veichle (truck, suv, etc.) you may not see someone about to walk right in front of you. Saying that this doesn’t endanger anyone isn’t exactly accurate.
    I do agree that you shouldn’t be ticketed for where you stop on a turn, and in most cases unless the system is corrupt they will dismiss the ticket if you prove your innocence to any violations. Though if you don’t completely stop or turn right on a no-turn-on-red you are breaking the law.

  3. I have to disagree with you. No one walks on any sidewalk or crosswalk in the suburbs. Especially not at these intersections. And if you stop 6 inches in front of the line it is totally inconsequential because you are about 5 feet away from cross traffic. I think people stop, but they don’t stop behind the lines because they haven’t seen a person walking in a crosswalk in the suburbs since 1965.

  4. I have to disagree with you. No one walks on any sidewalk or crosswalk in the suburbs. Especially not at these intersections. And if you stop 6 inches in front of the line it is totally inconsequential because you are about 5 feet away from cross traffic. I think people stop, but they don’t stop behind the lines because they haven’t seen a person walking in a crosswalk in the suburbs since 1965.

  5. i disagree with a lot of this. for one thing, the camera company didn’t initiate the deal with bolingbrook. roger claar, the mayor of bolingbrook, was looking for a way to reduce the number of cars running red lights and causing accidents. he was the one who came up with the idea, and he wasn’t interested in making more money off of it. also, not every person who is photographed is automatically ticketed. the cameras are programmed to take a picture of any vehicle in the intersection when the light in that certain direction is red, which is a lot of cars on occasion, because some people do stop a little too far beyond the line. the pictures are then reviewed by bolingbrook police to determine which ones are legitimate, and the appropriate people are ticketed. just because it takes your picture doesn’t mean you even did anything wrong.

  6. The real problem is does the fine fit the crime? I can be driving 15 mph over the speed limit and get a $75 ticket in Bolingbrook, but stop on the white line and it’s $100. They’ve made between $15K and $20 a month on this supposed public safety project and are adding more intersections all the time. I wonder where all this money goes?

  7. Matthew Scott: You can disagree all you want, it’s your own personal opinion. But based on how you know “exactly how this came about” I would guess you work for the government there and are either personally profiting or benefiting in some way for this policy. That discredits your argument a lot.

    Matt: Yes we all wonder why schools don’t have enough money to pay teachers well and cover education costs while there is all this new money being added to the budget.

  8. I had read all your inputs and it just comes down to Bolingbrook is in need of a re-session before Christmas. From local business allowing greedy mayor mc-claar to let this to take place with Violations in Telecommunications Act. and Several Constitutional Rights. I’ve listened to several people in the court room and they have already stopped shopping in Bolingbrook, I’ve been to their court twice to observe presiding and the appointed officer should be ashamed sitting in a judges seat below the state seal of Illinois and constituents telling me he does not care where I do my business. this is there rules. As of this, my family consumer products and business products purchases have stopped all transactions in Bolingbrook IL. Average receipts the past few years are eight thousand to 10 thousand a month. We have taken are business to Dupage County Woodridge. And boy is A Real Place to Grow not a place to be to be choked with high taxes no police protection, obnoxious fees and greediness.

    I’m sure that everybody has there own excuse but mine is company vehicle was not driving. And they have not proved to me that I was the driver for the violation.

    A police officer can write you a ticket for blowing a red-light straight or turning when you didn’t stop and proceeded thru the intersection that the enforcement we need. not if you past the line.

    Mayor mc-claar has past the line of fellow man decentsee and to think I had met the man and told him I respected him highly because my grandfather was a fonder, judge and mayor of a near neighboring town.

    He should be replaced I have never voted in my life time because there was no need. but there’s always a first. The Schools are shot, the teachers are still students there self. and thats just the tip of the iceburg.

    I think mayor mc-claar has forgotten how Bolingbrook has gotten this far and needs a reality check.

    Donations are being taking for publicity costs. “Don’t Shop Bolingbrook”

  9. According to the Bolingbrook Sun, the village currently has three cameras and is currently making $180,000 per MONTH off just these three. They have plans to install fifteen more cameras.

    Seventy percent of the ticket cost goes to the company, not to the village… and the company is the one that issues the tickets, with no cops involved. (This is why it doesn’t go on your insurance record.) Since it’s for-profit, they have an incentive to issue as many tickets as possible, no matter how minor. I live near one of the intersections, and virtually every single person I know over here has received at least one $100 ticket… usually for having stopped beyond the line. Many have received more than one, and we have to drive through these intersections two or three times a day. I hate Bolingbrook now. I think this should be illegal… and it was, until last year, when the governor changed the law and made it legal.

    It’s outrageous. There’s a clear incentive to nail every single person, and the obvious purpose is to make money. It’s exactly like those small towns you hear about being “speed traps,” where the police attempt to ticket every out-of-towner to raise revenue. This is worse, even, because now it’s targeting a town’s own residents. Issuing tickets for revenue purposes is illegal… Bolingbrook claims it’s for “safety,” but that’s a pretty transparent pretext.

    $180K a month? From three cameras? No wonder they’re in a hurry to add five times that many cameras. Then they’ll rake in almost $1 million a month…

  10. Wow, Thanks for posting that ticketed.

    I appreciate the update and the info as I am sure a lot of concerned citizens are.

    I hate that people are being taken advantage of here and wanted to get the discussion going about how to get this resolved. I am glad we are all discussing this but I am not sure anyone has been able to come up with a solution yet.

    Can anyone get something started to get them taken down? Banned? Prove they are illegal in court?

    What does it take to bring this unfair practice down?

  11. Yeah Tell me about it. I was hit with a $100.00 ticket for making a right hand turn on red and when I contested the ticket they denied me. They said if i wanted to persue it further I would have to sue the village of Bolingbrook. Ummmm… Yeah right. That would cost a lot more then the $100.00 ticket. So I ended up paying it. I think the camera’s are a big waste of tax payers money!!!

  12. The police swarmed on a small town I live in just to write tickets all day. It was a nice veterans day and people were trying to enjoy the day. There were no less than 6 police cars 2 state police and 4 sheriff cars. They staked out the town and there is a hill as you leave the 30 MPH zone going into the 55 MPH…
    Well I got nailed there and the officer lied and said I was doing 50 at the top of the hill. I was going 30 but when the car goes downhill it speeds up a bit due to the steep hill and I was being closely shadowed by a 10 ton truck so I did not ride my brake down the hill. The police quickly attacked and drove out cutting off the truck behind me (with no lights on).
    I begged for mercy seeing as how I got nailed 2 months ago rounding a right hand turn at a flashing red 4 way stop. I BARELY was moving. This incident in the small town of Walworth is rediculous. I am extremely angry and provoked by the whole thing. I could not figure out why but now I know its because I feel taken advantage of by the policemen. They scouted the area and know that you are very likely to speed up going down that hill especially if its a nice day and you are relaxed. But why do they need 6 police cars to nail motorists for minor infractions every chance they get ? Talk about gangbangers. One policemen that I spoke to at the scene,did not disagree when I said I feel like I’m being robbed.

  13. I used to live in Bolingbrook, and I think the reason they get away with hitting you for a ticket by just touching the white line is how they interpret the relevant section from the “Rules of the Road.” Here it is:

    WHITE STOP LINE: A white stop line is painted across a lane at an intersection. The line is usually 4 ft. before the crosswalk in an urban area. It shows where you must stop for a STOP sign or red light. You must stop your vehicle before any part of it crosses the line.

    I think what they are doing is saying that by crossing the beginning of the line, your vehicle has crossed over. I look at it as being crossing over the other side, or end, of the stripe.

    As an update, the village suspended the camera program, saying that it had done what they intended, that is stop people from blowing through red lights and cut down on the number of accidents. They aren’t taking the cameras out, however. They say they will evaluate in the spring, and reactivate them if necessary.

    I think it was more all the bad local press Bolingbrook was getting.

  14. Wow, thanks Tony for the update. I knew it was a case of interpreting the law creativley for profit’s sake but I did not know that the town had temporarily stopped it. They never had anyone blowing any red lights there or anywhere in Bolingbrook so their statement is laughable but we are appreciative that it is over for the moment. I think they will notice no difference in people’s driving habits now that the fines have stopped temporarily.

    I am impressed with the information about this situation from residents and citizens here:
    http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2007/11/big_brother_no_longer_watching.html

    Check it out for more details about this unfair situation and how it has transpired over time.

    Lets all stay on top of this situation and make sure that the Bolingbrook mayor can’t legally set it back into operation again. The law abiding and tax paying citizens in the Chicagoland area deserve better. Let me know if there is any class action suit in the works or any petition or voting I can participate in to remove these corrupt officials from office.

  15. The Mayor of Bolingbrook was busted for DUI not too long ago and at the intersections where they installed the cameras no one walks across the street, they drive from one mall to the next. When was the last time you or anyone else walked from one mall to another. Thats all there is at these intersections. Running a red light is serious and this can help slow people down but improperly stopping on a white line and being charged more than you would for speeding is just a way to make money.

  16. Well, as long as the mayor and Drew Peterson stay in Bolingbrook and don’t move to Naperville, we’re happy.

    I really think the only reason they stopped the pics and tickets coming was due to the bad press from both the cameras and Drew.

    I worked in Bolingbrook and drove past Boughton/Weber EVERYDAY. I was MORE tense entering the intersection or even approaching it due to the cameras (what if the light turns yellow…… – argh!) I’ve changed companies and NEVER need to go into Bolingbrook again. Unless I choose to. Exactly why would I CHOOSE this???

  17. Bolingbrook used to be a nice place to live…but they had to bring in all kinds of malls and everything, and with the resulting traffic problems, they resorted to Orwellian tactics like cameras. I was glad when I was able to leave Bolingbrook, and Illinois. Best sight I’ve seen for awhile was Bolingbrook, IL in my rearview.

  18. It’s not about safety, and it never was. This society we live in,(not only bollingbrook). Is more interested in revenue then saving or helping people. Why don’t they put the officers in higher crime areas…. Oh wait, they don’t have any money!

  19. It isn’t just the traffic cameras, see this link to view details about a class action lawsuit in Illinois against outrageous toll violation fines…
    thenewspaper.com/news/23/2346.asp

    Also here is Blagojevich’s proposal to install speed trap cameras on the interstates…
    suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1095739,CST-NWS-blago07.article

    I live in Chicago an this city has raked in a ton of revenue from this program…Since the first camera stoplight tickets were issued in Chicago in November 2003, the system has been responsible for 250,000 citations and $13.9 million in fines as of September, according to the city’s Revenue Department. Yet the CTA is still crying for lack of funding and Blagojevich wants to take away Amtrak subsidies for downstate Illinois while he flies a private jet to Springfield from Chicago and back each time he goes to “work” on our tax payer’s dime.

    It’s all Big Brother people. If you haven’t read 1984 you need to do it now. The fox is in the hen house and only getting fatter by the minute.

    Also Illinois voters be aware that there is a vote coming up for a constitutional rewrite this election. I’m personally voting NO on this issue because it will be the same thugs promoting all of these cameras and other faulty policies, who will be doing the revision of our constitution. It will be posed on the ballot as something like, Do you support an Illinois Constitutional Convention?
    It’s also being called by those who oppose of the revision the ConCon.
    Pretty sneaky huh?

    I hope you let this one through cuz here’s one more link
    lwvil.org/ConCon.asp

  20. as matt says — does the fine fit the crime?? Also, since I don’t have the money to pay this thing right now, I’ve been slapped with a $100 late fee, so now I owe $200. Ok, so I’m 1 month late now and they just charged me $100 for a $100 ticket. I don’t know much, but I know that’s one hell of an interest rate for being 1 month past due!!! My ticket was in the wonderful suburb of Rosemont. Scratch that from the future places I’ll go and watch a movie. Can someone set-up a class action on the unfair rates and absorbant “late fees?” I mean, I’ve been raped badly by bank NSF fees before, but this takes the cake.

  21. http://www.lith.org/Services/Departments/Police/Traffic_Safety/Attachments/625%20ILCS%205-11-208.4.pdf

    The Illinois vehicle code on page twelve of the above document link states that ‘the use of automated traffice law enforcement systems to record vehicle speeds is an exclusive power and function of the state’. So the speed recorded by the traffic light enforcement cameras cannot be used as evidence against you. This may not help in most cases, but it may get the ticket thrown out in some.

  22. Melrose Park, IL is doing the samething. They are stilling from citizens and I really hope one day there is a class action law suit.

  23. HAVE YOU BEEN THRU OAK LAWN,IL. LATELY ?? AT 95TH AND CICERO PHOTO CAMERAS FOR RED LIGHT AND NO RIGHT TURN ON RED…AND YES 100.00 FINE BY MAIL AND 107.00 IF YOU APPEAR IN A RIDICULOUS COURT VENUE..JUST LIKE BOLINGBROOK BUT WORSE;FOR ONE CORNER HAS UTILITY POSTS AND UTILITY BOX OBSTUCTIONS TO SEE NO TURN ON RED SIGN…SOME ONE WILL WIN WITH HIGHER COURT ON THIS ONE I HOPE!! OBSURD ARE THESE COSTS FOR TRIVIAL TRAFFIC TICKET…PEOPLE GOING HUNGRY IN THESE ECONOMIC TIMES AND THESE PIGS RIPPING US OFF!!!!

  24. yea they are a bit ridiculous , i live in bolingbrook and there are at least 4 that i know of not even 5min from my house in any direction. most go off even if you are coming to a complete stop , although its passed the white line. and the intersections the cameras are placed at are pretty low traffic areas except during certain hours.

  25. Have I heard correctly that there is the beginnings of a class action lawsuit against either the camera companies or the villages that use them, or both? I caught a brief headline on FOX news and I missed the actual report so does anyone have information on this or the lawyers that are stepping up? thanks

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