According to the American Traffic Solutions (ATS), about two people die every day in the country as a consequence of red light running. These fatalities cost $378 million each month. Insurance companies pay about 50% of motor crash expenses while the rest is paid by uninvolved drivers, health care providers, charities, and municipal, local, and state authorities. Red light cameras monitor many different intersections all across the state.
Chicago, IL, remains the 5th most dangerous cities when it comes to running a red light. In this guide, we will provide you the rules of red lights in Chicago, what the consequences of a red light camera violation are, and how we can help you.
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Illinois Laws Relating to Red Light
Here are some of the laws associated with red lights in Illinois and what a driver is supposed to do when they see a red light.
Making a Stop
When a motorist sees a solid or flashing red light traffic signal, they must come to a complete stop before reaching the demarcated stop line on the road or entering the near crosswalk on the intersection. In case there is no marked stop line or crosswalk, the driver must stop before they enter the intersection.
Motorists can make a right turn after stopping at a red light, if there is no sign prohibiting this, according to Illinois law. However, it is the driver’s responsibility to exercise caution and ensure right-of-way rule when making a right turn on the red light.
According to Illinois law, drivers can make a left turn after they stop at a red light from a one-way street to another one-way street. Again, they need to exercise caution and follow the right-of-way rule before they make the turn.
Yellow Light Warning
In some states, once the yellow light turns on, you cannot enter the intersection. However, in Illinois, the yellow light is simply a warning that the light is about to change red in a few seconds. This means that you can enter the intersection when the yellow light blinks on, but you need to exercise caution.
Special Rules for Bicyclists and Motorcyclists
As of January 2012, bicyclists and motorcyclists in Illinois may be able to run red lights legally. This is allowed in municipalities with less than two million people.
The special rule is made because of certain signals that use technology to turn the light from red to green only when they detect a vehicle approaching. However, motorbikes and cycles are so small and light, they sometimes fail to trigger the signal to switch to green. In this case, motorcyclists and cyclistsneed to wait for at least 120 seconds for the signal to turn green. If it doesn’t, they can run the red light legally.
Illinois Red Light Cameras
Speeding and red light cameras are allowed in Illinois under the Section625 ILCS 5/11-208.6.A red light camera is a digital device that uses radars to detect vehicles that approach the vehicle after the light turns red. These cameras photograph and take videos of the rear of the vehicle, including its license plate and send them to the City’s Department of Revenue.
Once the images are reviewed and processed, the registered owner of the vehicle gets a ticket for the red light camera violation.
However, there are certain requirements that state laws impose on camera violations. These include:
- Making two or more images and video of the violation available online to the offender.
- Including the location, date, and time of the violation.
- Notifying the offender in writing about the violation within 90 days.
A 24-hour streaming of red light camera videos can be reviewed for 30 days. Videos of red light violations are available for a period of two years.
The Red Light Camera Enforcement project is designed to improve traffic safety in Chicago by attempting to reduce the deadliest car crashes at intersections, including head on, rear-end, side-swipe, and angle. As people complied with the law, it was found that incidents of dangerous angle crashes were reduced by 64% at intersections that were equipped with speeding and red light cameras.
According to government stats, crashes at all types of intersection reduced between the period of 2005 and 2018, which shows the most recent data:
- T-bone crashes reduced by 64$
- Rear-end crashes reduced by 62%
- The number of all intersection crashes reduced by 59%
- The number of crashes resulting in injuries reduced by 40%
- Pedestrian crashes were decreased by 33%
Do Red Light Cameras Take Pictures of Motorists Turning on Red or Traveling the Intersection When the Light Turns Red?
Red light cameras do not take pictures of motorists who turn right after a complete stop when the light turns red, since this is allowed by Illinois law. Drivers who entered the intersection when the light was yellow and were caught there when the light turned red are also not photographed.
Fines and Points for Violations of Red Light in Illinois
If you run a red light illegally in Illinois, you will have to face the consequences. Typically, the fine for red light violation is $120 and the red light ticket cameras are $100. However, the violation will also add 20 demerit points to your driving record.
Additionally, a red light violation may also get you a charge of reckless driving. If the violation resulted in the wrongful death of someone, you can add the charge of reckless homicide to your list.
Considering these implications, it is very important to think twice before you run a red light.
Red Light Cameras are Controversial but They Have Solid Benefits in Illinois
- According to a 2011 study by Insurance Institute for Highway, red light cameras reduced the number of red light running accidents by 24%.
- According to a survey that took place in 14 cities, two-thirds of the people support the use of red light cameras.
- Fines and tickets through red light cameras fund the needs of the community and safety functions of the highway.
- Red light camera saves taxpayer money.
Top Reasons Why You Need to Stop At Red Lights
The National Coalition for Safer Roads attempts to raise awareness of the dangers of running red lights each year. Along with other organizations, the coalition has come with the top reasons to stop at red lights. These are:
- Running a red light is very dangerous and illegal.
- Running a red light causes preventable injuries and fatalities.
- One-third of Americans know someone who has become a victim of red light accident.
- Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children aged 4 and the second-leading cause of children aged 3 and 5 to 14.
- Almost 50% of all deaths in red light accidents are of other drivers, cyclists, or passengers.
- The country pays over $230 billion each year for vehicle crashes.
Contesting Red Light Tickets in Illinois
Under the Illinois law, if you get a ticket for a red light violation, you have the right to request a hearing to challenge that charge.
Red light camera technology is not perfect and mistakes are often made by these systems. There have been complaints of people who lawfully drove into an intersection before the light turned red, or made a legal right or left turn after stopping completely when the red light turned on, of getting notice of violations in their mail.
People of Illinois also have the right to access the recorded images and video of the perceived violations online.
Moreover, there are certain laws that prevent municipalities from issuing citations related to red light. For example, the city may not issue violations when an automobile comes to a complete stop before entering the intersection, even though they may have stopped at a point further ahead of a stop line or crosswalk.
Schedule an Appointment with Illinois Traffic Lawyers
If you have been issued a red light citation, you can get help from our experienced Chicago traffic ticket lawyers. Our legal team has years of experience in traffic laws and court in the state of Illinois and can help fight for your right.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We also work on a contingency basis fee, which means we will not charge you anything unless we reach a satisfactory settlement or a favorable verdict for you.