NBC Chicago 10-5-17 (Crestwood)

NBC Chicago 10-5-17

Lawsuit Seeks to Refund $3M in Suburban Red Light Tickets

By Katie Kim

10/6/2017

Attorneys claim 56,000 red light camera tickets have generated $3 million dollars for the village of Crestwood–but a lawsuit is looking to get that cash refunded.

At a busy Crestwood intersection, traffic isn’t the only headache for drivers.

“I have been going out to Crestwood for over 20 years now and I had never received a red light ticket,” said Rosie Jones, a driver who’s received a red light ticket.

But drivers say that all changed in the last year when a red light camera went up at Cicero Avenue and Cal Sag Road

Crestwood’s mayor, Louis Presta, says the village has done nothing wrong.

Presta says this crossroad was the site of far too many accidents so the village asked the state for a deterrent–which I-DOT granted.

But attorneys who just filed a class action lawsuit argue a red light camera can’t go up where there’s no red light.

There’s no stop sign–there’s no traffic control device at all governing the right turn,” said attorney Tom Zimmerman.

Today, there are clear signs of the nearby photo enforcement. The mayor says that’s more than enough warning to stop on red.

People see it but they don’t pay attention or they don’t want to pay attention to it,” Presta said in a phone interview.

56,000 tickets and $3 million dollars in fines later–attorneys and drivers call it a trap.

“So I just don’t think that it was fair,” said ticketed driver Debra Dembry. “Everybody should get their money back. There’s nothing there. There’s just nothing there.”

Presta reiterated all the village did was request a red light camera.

He says I-DOT approved the permit and installed the camera according to state and federal regulations.

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