Red Light Camera FAQs

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Red Light Camera FAQs

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Why has the Village of Hoffman Estates implemented a Red Light Camera Program?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly two million crashes annually occur in intersections. In 2012, red-light running resulted in 683 fatalities and 133,000 injuries.

Red-light running is a deadly epidemic. Red Light Camera Programs have proven to reduce the number of red-light collisions and injuries associated with these crashes. The purpose of this program is to increase traffic safety in Hoffman Estates by reducing red-light running violations, collisions and injuries without impacting Village funds.

What is a red-light running violation?

A red-light running violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red, waiting to turn for example, are not considered red-light violators.

Where are the Red Light Cameras located within an intersection?

There are three approaches at each intersection which are marked clearly with signs.  For example Barrington/Higgins Road has the following cameras:

  • Southbound Barrington Road at Higgins Road (Route 72)
  • Eastbound Higgins Road (Route 72) at Barrington Road
  • Westbound Higgins Road (Route 72) at Barrington Road

How does the Red Light Camera Program work?

How Red Light Cameras Work

  • The system activates when motion is detected just prior to the stop bar AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The cameras capture two images of an alleged violation, taken from the rear of the vehicle.
  • The first image shows the vehicle at the white stop bar and the illuminated red light.
  • The second image shows the violator in the middle of the intersection with the red light illuminated.
  • The license plate image is a close-up from one of the images captured.
  • Data, including the time, date and duration of the yellow and red lights, also is recorded.
  • Cameras also record a 12-second digital video of the violation, including six seconds prior to and six seconds after running the red light.

Why does the camera flash when no one actually runs the red light?

The Red Light Camera Program is designed to take two rear photographs of a vehicle that may be committing a violation. The first rear image captures the vehicle prior to entering the intersection with the traffic signal red, and the second image shows the vehicle continuing through the intersection during the red signal phase.

On occasion, a vehicle approaching an intersection with a red light may come to a stop before entering the intersection, yet trigger the red-light camera system, causing the flash to discharge. In addition, a vehicle approaching the intersection and making a right turn may not come to a complete stop, but only slow before continuing to turn, triggering the Red Light Camera Program and causing the flash to discharge.

The Hoffman Estates Police Department reviews each violation event captured by the Red Light Camera Program, and makes the final decision to issue a citation. All flash incidents do not equate to a citation.

What company provides the Red Light Camera Program in the Village?

The Village of Hoffman Estates has contracted with American Traffic Solutions Inc. (ATS), which provides red-light safety and road safety programs for more than 300 communities across North America. More information about ATS is available online at www.atsol.com.