NILES Police step up traffic patrols

Most of July's citations were for speeding or running through red lights.
NILES -- Last month, the city started increasing traffic enforcement at five intersections.
"It's working," said Chief Bruce Simeone. "Since our enforcement program started, we've started to see an increase in citations and reduced accidents."
Statistics kept by the department show the changes between June and July.
"But we still want people, if they have a problem with speeders in their neighborhoods, to let us know," the chief said.
John Marshall, traffic officer, said between 25 and 39 citations were issued throughout July, every two hours between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Most of those were for speeding or going through red lights, Marshall said.
Of the 233 tickets written last month, 75 were for speed and 26 for failing to yield at red lights. The others tickets were for other offenses.
"Accidents dropped way off," Marshall said.
No comparison: Because the department changed the way it tracks offenses and accidents this year, comparisons from summer months of previous years aren't available.
Police attribute the change to increased enforcement throughout the city rather than boosted patrols at the designated intersections specifically.
One intersection set for increased patrols is Robbins Avenue-Hogarth Avenue and Robbins-Summit Street. Both intersections, situated close together, are marked with traffic lights, and the city is working to install one light to replace the two.
Enforcement also has been increased at Cedar Avenue and Robbins, Third and Main streets, Washington Avenue and state Route 46 and U.S. 422 and Route 46.
Complaints: That effort, which uses both state traffic enforcement grant money and officers on regular patrol to concentrate on the intersections, stemmed from the number of accidents reported at those intersections as well as complaints from residents of drivers running through red lights.
Simeone said the department plans to continue the efforts underway and to tackle speeding other ways. The city bought a third speed trailer to monitor speeding.
The trailers, which can be moved to different locations, sit by the side of the road and display the speed of passing motorists. Two of the trailers include a computer which compiles data allowing police to see the average speed of travelers, the number that speed and by how much.
"We're also going to do some surveys to see how well other programs are working," the chief said.

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