Red Light Camera Tickets in Illinois

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Red Light Camera Tickets in Illinois

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Next time you are running late for your appointment and you think of gunning it through the intersection before the traffic light turns red, think again. The state of Illinois enforces red light cameras to catch red light violators. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a red light violator, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Malman Law immediately.

What is a Red Light Camera?

Red light cameras are mounted on traffic lights, usually found at busy intersections. The camera has one or more motor vehicle sensors that work in tandem with the traffic light signal. The device will take both a still photograph and video footage when a vehicle runs a red light.

Many drivers frequently do not come to a complete stop when taking right turns at red lights. The red light camera also takes footage of drivers who illegally roll through red lights.

However, the camera will not take a picture or video footage of drivers who legally take right turns at red lights at intersections where right turns are permitted.

The footage captured by the red light camera will include a clear image of the vehicle, the rear license plate, and a timestamp of the time, date, and location of the incident.

What is Running a Red Light?

Anytime you enter an intersection after a traffic signal turns red, you’re running a red light. However, you’re not running a red light if you have turned into an intersection as the signal changes. This may occur if you’re waiting to turn left.

If you do not come to a full stop at an intersection where a right turn is allowed on red, you’re a red light runner. You’re also considered guilty of running a red light if you turn right at an intersection where turning on red is not permitted.

People regularly run red lights when they think they’re not being watched. One study showed that intersections without red light cameras had a violation rate of about 3 red light runners per hour. Again, red light cameras save lives and keep things safer.

What Do the Stats Reveal?

People who run red lights cause hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries annually. In 2020, 928 deaths were recorded that were related to running a red light. Bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and motorists were included in this number. During the same year, around 116,000 people were injured from red-light runners.

What Is the Difference Between Red Light Cameras and Traffic Data Cameras?

Don’t confuse these cameras, however, with traffic data cameras. These recording devices look similar and are also installed on stop lights and signals. However, their use supports the timing of the traffic lights. You won’t get a ticket from what a traffic data camera records.

Red camera ticket lights are mainly found in metro Chicago and suburban locations. They operate 24/7.

Are Red Light Cameras Legal in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, red light cameras are permitted. Red light cameras are considered to be part of the “automated traffic law enforcement system.”

A county or municipality is not allowed to use the “automated traffic law enforcement system” to record a vehicle’s speed, but for the sole purpose of catching red light culprits.

Chicago began its red light camera program back in 2003. Before any new red light cameras are installed, Chicago City Council requires that the Department of Transportation (DOT) hold a public meeting.

How Much is a Red Light Camera Ticket?

The number of red light violations have been staggering, with Illinois local governments collecting upwards of $1 billion in ticket revenue in the past decade.

Depending on the city or town, the fine for a red light camera ticket may vary. A red light camera ticket is usually priced at $100. If you choose to ignore your ticket, more fines will be implemented. If you miss the due date, your fine will increase from $100 to $200.

Besides having to pay the $100 fine, you will be subject to additional fees:

  • $60 to $400 Boot Fee
  • Towing charges: your vehicle may be impounded, resulting in a $150 tow fee, a storage fee of $20 per day for the first five days, and an additional $35 per day thereafter
  • Vehicles weighing more than 8,000 pounds are subject to a $250 tow fee, a $60 storage fee per day for the first five days, and an additional $100 per day thereafter

Why Should You Pay A Red Camera Ticket Immediately?

It’s not a good idea to ignore a red light or a red light camera ticket. That ticket will not magically disappear. If you don’t address the offense and pay the citation, the amount you’re required to pay will increase. In fact, you may have to pay double the amount if you miss the due date.

Moreover, you can get your car seized, which, as you know, will make it difficult to get around. While you won’t lose your license for running a red light, you may lose your transportation if you don’t pay your fine.

Do Red Light Cameras Invade a Person’s Privacy?

Some motorists wonder if the cameras violate a driver’s privacy. Legally, the electronics do not. That’s because driving is regulated. Therefore, drivers who obtain licenses agree to abide by specific road rules.

Red light cameras are not designed to violate a person’s privacy but to catch people who are not driving as they should. They support the efforts of local and state law enforcement agencies.

When the signal timing is programmed to improve safety and the yellow light time is increased, red-light-running is reduced, and so are the resulting mishaps.

Can I View the Actual Footage of My Violation?

A red light offender will receive a ticket in the mail five to seven business days after the violation. The ticket will also indicate the date the fine is due, normally due within 25 days.

For any motorist who receives a red light violation in Chicago, they can view the video footage and photograph of the violation on the city’s website.

If you feel that the camera took the footage in error, you can take action. Be aware that you only have seven (7) days from the ticket being issued to contest your ticket with the city.

Will the Violation Be Put on my Driving Record?

Since a red light violation is not considered a moving violation, it is not placed on a motorist’s driving record.

Instead, a red light violation is considered an administrative violation. Red light violations are similar to parking tickets in this way. In addition to the ticket not being part of your driving record, your insurance rates will not increase either.

Do Red Light Tickets Affect Insurance?

In short, no, red light tickets should not affect your insurance. 

Illinois traffic laws don’t consider a red light camera ticket a moving violation and, therefore, it can’t affect your driving record. As a result, a red light violation won’t increase your insurance premiums. 

However, red light accidents are another story, as they can have serious effects on your life. If you suffered injuries because another driver ran a red light, contact a car accident attorney immediately. 

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Running a red light is illegal and a hazard to you and other motorists. Despite the dangers, drivers frequently run red lights, resulting in deadly consequences. In 2021, at least 1,109 people died in crashes caused by red-light running in the U.S.

Victims of red-light running can sustain severe injuries. You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s fault. Most victims obtain compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer to cover injury-related damages. Even so, some people get insufficient compensation to cover their losses, highlighting the need to work with a car accident attorney to enhance your chances of obtaining a fair settlement value.

Here’s how an attorney can help your case:

Investigate the Crash

A driver can run the red light and flee the scene, leaving you to deal with the consequences of an injury. Although you are entitled to compensation under personal injury laws, you must demonstrate the other driver’s fault.

An experienced car accident attorney can work with investigators to collect crash footage, obtain police reports, compile witness testimony, and hire an expert to analyze the vehicle damage.

The attorney can rely on gathered evidence to represent you in court or demand a better settlement amount that covers your damages.

Adhere to Legal Timelines

If the court has set specific deadlines, an attorney will know it and work efficiently to deliver the paperwork on time. More importantly, an attorney must adhere to the statute of limitations when initiating a car accident claim.

For instance, the statute of limitations on personal injury in Illinois is two years. It means that a car accident victim has two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. An attorney will work quickly within the deadlines to avoid losing out on your opportunity to obtain damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other injury-related losses.

Determine Your Losses

You stand a better chance of recovering from an injury after obtaining a fair settlement amount for your losses. Although medical expenses comprise a substantial section of your compensation, you must calculate the value of the following damages:

  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of companionship
  • Future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life

Since there is no hard evidence for non-economic losses, you might struggle to establish the value of the above damages. You may also leave money on the table by accepting a lowball offer since you’re unaware of the full extent of your injuries.

A car accident attorney knows how to calculate the value of your losses and will fight aggressively to maximize the value of your personal injury claim.

Represent You in Court

If you disagree with an insurance company, you may need to take the matter to court. A car accident attorney will take the at-fault party to court on your behalf. The attorney will table the evidence, summon witnesses, and argue before a jury.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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