Friday, June 5, 2009

City Considering Increasing Penalty and Cost For Red Light Camera Tickets

As if paying $100 for getting caught by a Chicago red light camera was not enough, now comes news that an ordinance has been introduced to require victims to complete a "Red Light Education Program" and pay an additional fee of $25. If this program was not completed an additional fine of $50 would have to be paid. Alderman Edward M. Burke introduced this ordinance on Wednesday. Alderman Burke claims that the goal of implementing this new program is public safety but acknowledged that the issue of raising much needed revenue was a factor in the proposal. He admits that the City is struggling to find additional sources of revenue. Currently, 143 intersections have red light cameras. An additional 39 are expected to go up this year. By 2012, at least 330 intersections are expected to have cameras. In 2008, the city reports that 579,560 red light tickets were issued. The city made $44.8 million dollars last year off of these cameras. In the first quarter of 2009, 146,612 tickets have been issued bringing the city $13.3 million dollars in revenue. The City is considering setting up a network of cameras that will issue tickets to uninsured drivers. But in order for this to work, the insurance companies must be required to provide up to date information of license plates of insured motorists on a shared network. At least 14 states require weekly reports from insurance companies. Illinois is not one of those states. So without this requirement, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to implement this system.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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