Photo Enforced Traffic Tickets in Illinois
Cameras accompany many red lights all throughout Chicago and the surrounding area. These cameras are not there simply as a deterrent for breaking traffic laws, they take a picture of the license plate of the vehicle. If the motion-activated camera detects a vehicle operating illegally, it takes a quick snapshot. The photograph is reviewed, and a citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. To avoid taking time out of a busy schedule to go to court, many individuals just pay the fine via mail and get on with their lives. However, as with any traffic violation, there may be a defensive strategy for you.
How the Camera Works
Each camera is equipped with a radar detector which senses oncoming vehicles. Once the attached light turns red, the camera takes a photo as well as a video of the back end of the car. A central agency is supposed to review the image for clarity and then pass it along to City’s Department of Revenue for processing. Throughout Chicago, there are cameras for:
- Red lights,
- Right turns, and
A red light camera violation is not a moving violation, rather it is an administrative offense. As such, it is similar to a parking ticket. Since it is not a ticket given by an officer, it is a separate non-moving citation, punishable by a fine, usually around $100.00. If you pay the fine, you are pleading guilty to the charges, but there will be no points added to the driving record and therefore no increase in your car insurance rates.
Each state has the responsibility to create their traffic laws, which is why in other states, the person who is driving the vehicle is important. This is not the case in Illinois, and the registered owner assumes the responsibility of the driving habits of someone they allowed to use their vehicle. However, there still may be potential arguments if given proper circumstances, including:
- The camera photo as hearsay,
- Clarity of the photo,
- The traffic light may not have been operating properly,
- A violation of the Sixth Amendment,
- A blocked or not present warning sign,
- Emergency driving, or
- Avoiding an accident.
Get Advice You Can Count On
If you have received a citation in the mail, it is worth contacting an attorney to discuss your legal options. You should not have to pay the penalty and plead guilty to charges just to get out of going to court. A lawyer can assist you in coming up with a viable solution for your case. If you are interested in discussing your options with a Bloomingdale, IL traffic violation defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are proud to put our combined 65 years of knowledge to work for our clients in Glendale Heights, Lombard, Maywood, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicago area.