Palatine hires new firm to operate red-light cameras

Palatine is changing red-light camera vendors for the first time in 13 years and will keep fines for those moving violation citations at $100 each.

The village council earlier this week unanimously approved, without public discussion, a six-year contract with Conduent State & Local Solutions Inc., based in Washington, D.C.

The village had used vendor RedSpeed Illinois, based in Lombard, since 2008, when the cameras were installed. The latest contract expired in July and the village issued requests for proposals in September.

Three vendors submitted proposals: RedSpeed, Conduent and NovoaGlobal Inc. of Orlando, Florida. Village staff members interviewed two of the vendors, and Conduent was selected, Police Chief Dave Daigle said.

"Some highlights of Conduent include state-of-the-art technology, strong customer service and outstanding reference from other municipalities," he said.

The company's cameras offers video archiving, which is "very useful" for investigations, Daigle said.

Palatine has two red-light cameras at the intersection of Rand and Dundee roads and one each at Rand and Hicks roads, Northwest Highway and Palatine Road, and Illinois Avenue at Plum Grove Road.

The village will pay Conduent a flat monthly fee of $3,365 per camera that will increase by 2% per year. The fee will be invoiced to the village, rather than deducted from ticket revenues.

Citations will remain $100, as they have been since 2008, Village Manager Reid Ottesen said. Conduent will charge a $4 credit card processing fee for payments via credit card.

Revenues from citations - which are issued after review by a police department employee - were $384,390 in 2020, and possibly more as tickets from November and December make their way through the system, Ottesen said. Revenues were $607,669 in 2019.

There have been fewer crashes at all five intersections in the years since the cameras were installed, although in one instance the change was minimal. That's according to the latest data, compiled in July by RedSpeed.

The largest crash decrease was at Rand and Dundee roads, which had 28.9 average crashes per year from 2010 to 2018, less than half the 62.3 average crashes from 2006 to 2008. That includes decreases in all crash categories: rear-end, angle, turn and "other."

But the intersection of Plum Grove Road and Illinois Avenue showed very little change, from an average 3.7 crashes per year from 2005 to 2007 to 3.1 from 2009 to 2018, with a decrease only in angle crashes and slight increases in the other three categories.

Ottesen said the recent contract process was about selecting a new vendor, not reviewing crash data.

"We receive information from the vendors and look at the data," Ottesen said. "In the coming year we will work with Conduent to review data once their cameras are installed. This will include whether we would eliminate some cameras or propose the addition of some cameras."

The village will have the option to renew Conduent's contract for up to two, three-year terms. If the village renews the contract after six years, the camera technology will be upgraded by Conduent, Daigle said.

Amid legislative push to eliminate them, Palatine seeks new red-light camera contract

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