Video Footage Provides Officials With Instant Replay
Many intersections throughout Illinois have benefited from the installation of automated red light enforcement cameras. The primary purpose of these cameras is to promote a change in driver behavior through the issuance of tickets for running a red light. In Roselle, the camera located at Lake Street and Gary Avenue also proved a motorist's innocence following a crash and saved her from being issued a ticket.
On May 26, 2009, a motorist traveling east on Lake Street was involved in a traffic crash with a vehicle turning south onto Gary Avenue from westbound Lake Street. The crash resulted in injuries and significant property damage to both vehicles, and the Roselle Police Department arrived to investigate the crash.
Based on eye witness accounts of the crash, it was reported that the eastbound vehicle ran a solid red light, striking the left turning vehicle with a solid green arrow. The eye witness' version of the accident appeared plausible particularly since the witness, like a sports referee, was right there to make the call. Based on the eye witness account, a traffic citation was issued to the alleged red light runner.
The determination of guilt, however, changed when video captured by the automated red light enforcement camera (see below) arrived a few days later. Like an instant replay on the field reveals a completely different aspect of a play, the video produced by the camera revealed a completely different chain of events. Review of the footage clearly indicated the motorist who had been issued a ticket for running the red light had been proceeding through the intersection on a solid green light, while the motorist turning left had failed to yield to the oncoming traffic before turning. The video evidence clearly defined who was directly responsible for causing the crash, and as a result the police were able to correct the report and dismiss the erroneous ticket.
The benefits of automated red light enforcement cameras go beyond simply issuing tickets to motorists failing to obey traffic signals. The presence of the cameras cause motorists to be aware and obey traffic safety laws and, as proven by this incident, can serve as impartial witnesses too.