CHICAGO – July 9, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will cut down on abuse of red lights by dramatically reforming oversight of red light cameras in Illinois. The law will further protect consumers by improving motorists’ right to appeal a red light camera ticket.
“Red light cameras in Illinois should serve the public good and improve public safety,” said Governor Quinn. “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.”
Senate Bill 935, sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Representative John D’Amico (D-Chicago), makes a number of changes to Illinois’ red light camera laws. The reforms will help ensure the uniformity of red light camera laws throughout the state and improve motorists’ right to review tickets received as the result of red light cameras.
The new law requires independent verification of a red light camera violation before a citation is issued. In DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair or Will counties the violation must be reviewed and approved by a law enforcement officer or a retired officer in that county or municipality. If the violation occurs in Chicago or Cook County, it must be reviewed by a law enforcement officer, retired officer or a fully-trained reviewing technician.
Additionally, municipalities or counties with red light cameras must post the locations of red light cameras on their Web sites. They are also forbidden from charging violators an additional fee for choosing to exercise their right to an administrative hearing to contest the ticket. People who take these violations to administrative hearings must be allowed at least 25 days after the hearing to pay the fine.
The legislation gives motorists the right to review video evidence and contest violations via a secure, Web-based portal. It also requires municipalities or counties with red light camera systems to conduct and post a study on the Internet to determine the safety impact of each camera.
Under the new law, motorists are allowed to stop beyond the white line at a red light as long as they do not enter the intersection. Previously, motorists were eligible to receive tickets from red light cameras even if they only went a few feet beyond the white line and did not enter the intersection.
The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.