GRANITE CITY, IL (KTVI)– Police in Granite City are going to social media in an effort to demonstrate the value of having red light cameras in the community. We all know “Big Brother” is watching in many area intersections, but now you’ve got the chance to see exactly what “Big Brother” is seeing. The video is up on Facebook.
The intersection of 27th and Madison is the location that’s having video posted on an almost weekly basis. The spot is home to several businesses, including the Mr. Twist ice cream stand, a sort of local landmark. Mr. Twist has been there for 36 years, and co-owner Felicia Urioste knows the danger of the intersection. Her building has been hit by cars seven times over the years. She remembers her thoughts the first time it happened.
“Oh my God!” she recalled with a laugh. “And actually people still wanted ice cream. Because we’ve got the best ice cream. They still wanted it.”
But what’s no laughing matter here is the sign posted in the window warning people of children in the area. This place is a magnet for kids, and the number of people who run the light scares people here to death.
“It does because our main thing is our kids,” she says. “The traffic comes through and they’re always in a hurry and you need to pay attention to the kids.”
Police say the red light camera at the intersection has helped since it was installed. They tell us 93% of people who pay one of the tickets never get a second one. But the video still shows a steady stream of violators, which puts police on edge.
“That’s probably one of the biggest fears of any police officer is to see a child getting hurt so we do anything we can to avoid it,” Granite City Police Captain Darin Clements told us.
He says putting the video on the Granite City Police Facebook page is simply another method to inform the public. Though he admits it’s not a method he ever imagined he’d be using.
“Not in a million years,” he said with a laugh. “When I first started we had one computer in the whole department. This is all new to most of us and we’re trying to grow with our community.”
If you’d like to see the videos for yourself, go to the Granite City Police Facebook page and “like” them.