Illinois law takes aim at red light cameras

| 12/29/2010

As of Saturday, Jan. 1, changes to Illinois law regulating the use of red-light cameras take effect. The intent is to help ensure uniformity of laws throughout the state and make it easier for drivers to appeal tickets.

“It is important that we protect consumers by putting an end to abuse of red-light cameras. This new law is a step in the right direction by properly regulating these cameras while improving the rights of Illinois’ motorists to appeal red-light camera tickets,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in a previous statement.

The new law requires independent verification of camera violations before citations are issued.

In the counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will violations must be reviewed and approved by law enforcement officers or retired officers in that county or municipality. Violations in the city of Chicago or Cook County must be reviewed by a law enforcement officer, retired officer or a “fully-trained reviewing technician.”

Municipalities or counties with red-light cameras must also post the locations of the devices on their websites. They are also forbidden from charging violators an additional fee for choosing to exercise their right to an administrative hearing to contest the ticket.

Critics say the law doesn’t go far enough, but it is a compromise to public angst about the fairness of the cameras. Others say drivers could avoid the problems caused by red-light cameras if they followed the law.

Another provision in the new law gives drivers more flexibility when approaching the edge of an intersection. A complete stop still will be required before making a right turn on red, but drivers won’t be ticketed solely for coming to a stop after the painted stop line, unless a pedestrian is nearby.

In addition, vehicle owners must be able to access video evidence of their offense on the Internet.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Illinois, click here.

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