In conjunction with National Stop on Red Week, Aug. 7-13, the Hoffman Estates Police Department will begin issuing citations to drivers who run red lights at the intersection of Barrington and Higgins (Route 72) roads.
As the Village implements this safety program, we would like to remind drivers how to safely approach an intersection.
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Drivers should always slow down and prepare to make a complete stop when a light turns yellow. Yellow lights inform drivers about a change in traffic flow. Always yield to pedestrians, as they have the right-of-way, and always come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red. It's the law.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2009, 676 people were killed and 113,000 were injured in intersection crashes. During that same year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 21 fatalities in Illinois as a result of intersection crashes.
A red-light 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 are not considered red-light violators. For example, a driver who enters an intersection on a green light will not receive a citation, even if that motorist must wait until the light turns red to complete a left-hand turn after oncoming traffic clears.
Further, the Village's red-light cameras will not capture images of right turns where right turns are not prohibited.
The red-light camera is activated when motion is detected, indicating a vehicle is entering the intersection AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The camera captures two images of the offending vehicle -- one showing the vehicle before entering the intersection on a red light, and one showing the vehicle proceeding through the intersection on red.
A video is also made of the violation. The images are reviewed and the violation is confirmed by a Hoffman Estates police officer before a violation notice is issued.
Owners of vehicles that are photographed running red lights will receive a notice in the mail, and are subject to a minimum fine of $100. Those who receive a violation can obtain additional information or view their photographs and video online at www.violationinfo.com. Citizens also can call toll free (866) 790-4111 if they have questions.
Intersection safety for all motorists is important in our community. For information, call (847) 781-2846.