More red light cams possible for Route 12

Updated 3/8/2011 4:23 PM

Another Lake County town is moving toward having red-light cameras installed on a popular highway to the Chain O' Lakes and Wisconsin.

Lakemoor village board trustees plan to vote Sept. 9 on whether to hire Chicago-based SafeSpeed LLC to install cameras at the Route 12-Route 120 intersection. SafeSpeed made a presentation to the village board on Aug. 26.


If hired, SafeSpeed would conduct an intersection study in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation to determine if photo enforcement is warranted for routes 12 and 120.

Lakemoor Village President Todd Weihofen said Monday the study also would dictate the number of cameras and the directions that should be covered. He said safety is the primary concern at the busy intersection.

"It's very dangerous for us to put officers in that intersection to patrol it," Weihofen said.

Lakemoor Police Chief Michael Marchese said he hasn't issued a recommendation to the village board regarding the proposed photo enforcement.

Route 12 is well covered by red-light cameras. Starting at Lake-Cook Road and heading north, Deer Park, Kildeer, Lake Zurich, Wauconda and Fox Lake have cameras on the well-traveled thoroughfare.

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Under the proposed deal, Lakemoor would keep 60 percent of red-light camera revenue, with 40 percent going to SafeSpeed. The village wouldn't pay for any equipment or monthly service fees, similar to deals SafeSpeed has struck in other suburbs.

SafeSpeed's president and owner is Nikki Zollar, former head of what's now called the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. State board of elections records show SafeSpeed's political contributions this year include $2,500 to Dan Proft, who was unsuccessful in the Republican primary for governor in February.

Controversy arose in Berwyn last year over an attorney hired to do periodic work for the city having connections to SafeSpeed. Meeting minutes show the Berwyn city council voted 5-2 in favor of contracting with SafeSpeed in September 2009.

Weihofen said he doesn't have any concerns about SafeSpeed.

"Their business is municipalities, so of course they all try to play politics," he said.

Lakemoor first brought up the idea of red-light cameras at routes 12 and 120 in October 2009.