River Forest, Illinois Red-light cameras Turned Back On

River Forest, IL Red Light Camera

After a delay of nearly two years, red-light cameras are returning to River Forest. Jeff Loster, director of public works and development services, said the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) gave the officials the green light on April 9 to reinstall three red-light cameras, one at Harlem and North avenues and the other two at Lake Street and Harlem Avenue.

River Forest approved a contract in June 2020 with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions doing business as Verra Mobility, replacing SafeSpeed as the village’s red light camera operator.

In February 2020, local officials announced their intent to decline to renew River Forest’s contract with SafeSpeed and issue a request for proposals from other vendors amid a federal corruption probe involving state and suburban politicians and a former SafeSpeed official, allowing the contract to expire July 1, 2020. The village originally contracted with SafeSpeed in 2011.

Loster said officials have been working with IDOT “over the last several months” regarding the change in vendor for River Forest’s red light cameras. Staff members will be working with the engineering consultant Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick Inc. and Verra Mobility to make the necessary modifications at both camera locations as approved by IDOT, he added. Loster said when the cameras will be operational is still to be determined.

He said officials are unable to explain the length of time it’s taken to implement the change, which was estimated in 2020 at 30 to 45 days, but the village was not responsible for the delay.

“I don’t know how long it took to get the original cameras up, so I don’t have much context,” Loster said. “I know IDOT is working on creating a new policy relative to red-light cameras and even though it is not something that was applied to our ‘vendor transfer,’ it may have been a factor.