Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


Illinois Red Light Cameras Source of Much Controversy

Illinois attorney red light camera

Since the installation of red light cameras began throughout Illinois, much debate has occurred over the effectiveness of these once heralded traffic control tools. A great deal of controversy surrounds the issuing of traffic tickets to motorists, and people have questioned whether the cameras are a safety device or a revenue generating resource for municipalities.

New Report Claims Clout Drives Camera Placement in Illinois

Despite the need for approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) prior to installation of red light cameras, a recent investigation and report indicated the cameras were going up at intersections that did not meet the established threshold for monitoring. The investigation found that:

• More than 50 percent of intersections with cameras were rated among the safest by IDOT standards BEFORE the cameras were installed.
• IDOT frequently approved placement of cameras at intersections that did not meet its own established criteria.
• Nearly a quarter of the intersections granted cameras had not recorded a single red-light related accident in the three years prior to camera installation.

Much of findings supported complaints that the cameras were being used more for the generation of revenue, and not for the intended purpose of making dangerous intersections safer.

Other States Taking Another Look

Illinois motorists are not the only drivers receiving automated tickets, and other jurisdictions have begun reviewing the effectiveness and legality of the automated traffic control devices. Two very recent examples include:

• Lawmakers in Suffolk County, NY, are pushing for the suspension of that area’s red light camera program until data pertaining to accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians was reviewed. Some officials were touting the cameras’ effectiveness for reducing incidents, but numbers involving bicycles and pedestrians were not included in the overall report.
• The Iowa Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the issuance of a ticket from an automated traffic camera. The petitioner claims the machines violate the due process and equal protection clauses of that state’s Constitution.

A handful of states have banned the use of automated red light and speeding cameras. Among those who have legislated against the use of such programs are New Jersey, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, and New Hampshire. Other states have placed limitations on the use and placement of these devices.

Seek the Help of an Experienced Joliet Speeding Ticket and Traffic Attorney

Whether you are ticketed as a result of an alleged red light camera offense or receive a citation while driving in Illinois, take time to consider all your options before going to court. Share your experience with a knowledgeable Will County traffic court lawyer and allow a legal professional who understands traffic law to guide your next steps. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will present your defense and work on your behalf to fight tickets or reduce fines and other punishments handed down by the court.

Nine Charged in Connection With Violence at Amusement Park in Illinois

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The arrival of the fall season means that haunted houses are beginning to open and Halloween-themed events are getting underway—many of them slated to run until late October. Of course, Halloween celebrations often include images of frightful fantasies, including ghosts, vampires, zombies, and more. It is not uncommon for more adult-oriented haunted houses to hire actors to portray sadistic murderers in an attempt to arouse the fear of willing customers. For one family, however, the violence was all too real, as they were severely beaten following an altercation with a group of teens at a Halloween event at Six Flags Great America.

A Violent Evening

According to various news outlets , the incident began while the family—a couple in their 50s and their 12-year-old son—was waiting in line for a ride during “Fright Fest” at Six Flags Great American in Gurnee. A large group of teens cut in front of the family, and the woman asked the group to stop using foul language in front of her son. The teens reportedly responded by “sucker-punching” the 12-year-old boy, then attacking the parents as they tried to intervene. The group continued to kick, punch, and stomp all three victims as they went to the ground, a representative from the Gurnee police said .

Several bystanders called 911 to report the incident while Six Flags security officers tried to get the situation under control. All three members of the family were taken to a local hospital with “significant” but non-life-threatening injuries.

Adult and Juvenile Arrests

When the police arrived on the scene, they detained and eventually arrested nine individuals, including one 18-year-old and eight minors. The 18-year-old was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place, and mob action. The eight juveniles were named in juvenile actions for mob action, three are facing aggravated battery charges, and one was charged with obstruction of justice for giving a false name.

Officials from Six Flags and the Gurnee Police Department believe that there are witnesses who have yet to come forward. They are asking anyone with information or possibly cell phone videos to contact the Gurnee police.

Get Help for Your Child

At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we realize that young people often caught up in the moment and may make poor decisions from time to time. We also understand the importance of putting juvenile defendants on the right track toward becoming productive citizens. If your child has been charged with any type of juvenile crime, including crimes involving violence or obstruction of justice, contact an experienced Joliet juvenile defense attorney . Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Protecting Yourself During a Lawful Protest

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As protests both peaceful and violent become more and more common in cities across the United States, it might be a good idea to understand in advance the rights one is afforded when taking part in such an activity. Of course, the 1st Amendment protects every citizen’s right to free speech, but knowing how your actions at a protest may have consequences allows you to protect yourself from criminal charges .

Know What is Required of You Before You Attend a Rally or Protest

As stated, the First Amendment protects your right to speak. However, it is not a magic shield that allows you to act without regard for the law. Presented here is a summary of some important facts to help protect yourself:

• Your speech is protected, UNLESS you are on private property. In that case, the owner of the property can set limits and can order you off their property if you violate those limits.
• Picketing and distributing leaflets is fine, but you may not block pedestrians while doing so and you should refrain from aggressive or threatening actions.
• In certain circumstances, a permit may be required for your protest or rally.
• If stopped by police, be calm and cooperative. In some states, you may be required to provide your name, but you do not have to show identification. NEVER put your hands on a law enforcement officer, and keep your hands in plain sight at all times when talking with police.
• If you are arrested, do not resist. Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

New Law Under Consideration in Illinois

With protests growing in frequency, an Illinois legislator has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to conceal your identity while taking part in a protest. The sponsor indicated a few factors that influenced this action, including:

• A propensity for “masked” protesters, usually in the minority, to instigate violent activity during what might otherwise be a peaceful demonstration.
• The need to prevent masked groups from aggravating situations, such as was the case in protests that took place in other cities.
• The new bill under consideration is modeled after existing laws already in place in Georgia and Virginia in an effort to withstand a Constitutional challenge.

Consult a Knowledgeable Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyer

Actions have consequences. In the event you are charged with a crime while taking part in a rally or protest, it is important to secure the representation of a skilled and experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will review every detail of your case and create a strategy that provides for an aggressive and meticulous defense on your behalf. Do not trust your freedom to an inexperienced lawyer.


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