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Westmont puts stop to red light camera program

WESTMONT — After four years, the village of Westmont is putting the brakes on its Red Light Camera Enforcement Program.

The Westmont Village Board voted Monday not to renew a contract with RedSpeed, the company that operates the red light cameras.

While the program raised $141,890 in fines from more than 5,000 tickets issued from March 2009 through December 2012, village trustees said the program has not been able to accomplish the goal set forth four years ago: to expand it across other intersections in town.

Officials said the idea behind the program was to introduce the red light cameras at the intersection of southbound Cass Avenue and westbound Naperville Road, and then expand to include the intersections of Ogden and Cass avenues, and 63rd Street and Cass Avenue, where there are much higher traffic counts.

But Westmont Police Chief Tom Mulhearn said the village has been denied permits from the Illinois Department of Transportation and DuPage County to add cameras at those intersections.

“The intersection of Cass and 63rd is the real problem,” Trustee Bob Scott said. “If we can’t get cameras there, then I think it’s time for the program to go.

The program is set to expire March 2.

Under the contract with, RedSpeed, the company collects video footage from the cameras, which is then sent to the Westmont Police Department. An officer reviews any suspected violations and determines whether a ticket should be issued. Fines are $100, and individuals ticketed can appeal the fines during an administrative hearing.

Because officers are needed to review the data collected by the cameras before tickets are issued, Trustee Lee Fleming said scraping the program will free up more time for officers to be on the streets rather than reviewing camera footage.

Trustees also cited statistics indicating the red light cameras at southbound Cass Avenue and westbound Naperville Road did little to reduce accidents at the intersection.

Mulhearn said the cameras would continue to operate until March 2 and would probably be taken down soon after.

Red Light Enforcement Program by the numbers
5,064: The number of tickets issued
$141,860: The amount raised from fines
$32,962: The cost to administer the program
$16,860; The amount of unpaid, or late fines due to the village
Source: Westmont Police Department, from March 2, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2012


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