As the name implies and as you may already know, a red light breach is when you jump a red light. Due to heavy traffic, Illinois has several red lights on the streets; these are meant for streamlining the traffic and avoiding road accidents. However, these can sometimes be very annoying and many people tend to ignore them, thereby indulging in red light infringements.
With the efficient traffic management system of Illinois, you’re highly unlikely to get away with such violations and you’ll either get caught or will revive a ticket in your mail. Unfortunately, you may sometimes receive such tickets without your fault also. These tickets may mean huge fines and other repercussions. Don’t panic; at Ktenas Law, we’re here to help you in getting your tickets canceled!
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What You Should Know About Illinois Red Light Cameras?
There are red light cameras all over Illinois, which help the traffic department to catch those who jump a red light. So, if the camera thinks that you’ve breached a red light, the vehicle’s registered owner will receive a citation. These cameras are connected to select traffic signals throughout Illinois.
The cameras are continuously recording a low-resolution video. There are sensors in the stop lines, which activate a high-resolution recording mode in the camera when a vehicle crosses them if the signal is red. The camera then takes a picture of the registration number of the vehicle as well as the complete vehicle at the intersection.
What Should You Know About Red Lights and Left Turns?
The Illinois traffic law Sec 11-902 of Ch. 95 1/2 caters for the right-of-way for vehicles coming from the opposite direction when you’re looking to take a left turn into a driveway, alley or private road. This is applicable when there’s a chance of a collision between vehicles. You’re allowed to take the left turn after ensuring that adequate safety distance is available.
It’s also important to note that 625 ILCS 5/11-306 of the law allows you to turn left on a red light only when you’re entering a one-way road from another one.
Traffic control signal legend – sec 11-306.
(c) Steady Red Signal
This section indicates that you can carefully take the right/left turn into a one-way road from another one. However, you’ve to take due precautions while doing so. In addition, you’ve to also make sure that there’s no restriction on such a movement as per the State or ordinance.
The right of way is granted to the approaching vehicle, which is close enough to cause an accident. You’re also bound to allow the pedestrians walking at the intersection or the adjacent walkway. In order to abide by this law, you must stop and see for any such vehicular or pedestrian traffic before taking the turn.
What are the Implications of Not Paying a Red Light Ticket?
Not paying the red light tickets isn’t a good option as you may have to pay double the fine subsequently. You can check the details of penalties of not paying on the website of the City of Chicago; the same is also given on your ticket. You must also note that you can’t challenge your ticket after you’ve been notified about its final determination.
In case you don’t pay your tickets despite notices, the City reserves the right to confiscate your vehicle by the way of towing or booting. Your driver’s license can also be suspended by the State authorities in Illinois. Once the State Secretary puts your license under suspension, you can no longer drive. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, you can even be charged for a criminal offense under the State laws!
What are the Penalties for Violations?
In Illinois, a red light or a stop sign violation is fined with $120 and camera ticket is $100.
Such a conviction also adds 20 negative points towards your driving record. These points can be avoided by clearing traffic school tests. In some instances, a red light or a stop sign violation can end you up in a case of reckless driving. You can even be charged for reckless homicide if your violation involves someone else’s death.
How Can I Safeguard My License From a Red Light Ticket?
Remember that once you pay the fine in a red light ticket, it means that you’ve agreed to the allegation, which will entail negative points for your driving license. It’s important to know that it’s the responsibility of the department to prove that you’ve violated the traffic signals. If you feel that you’re not guilty, then you must hire a specialist attorney to fight your case. A few steps that you can take to challenge a red light ticket in Illinois are:
Ambiguous Pictures. If the photo held with the police authorities isn’t adequately clear and there’s enough doubt whether it’s your vehicle in the picture, you can request dismissal of the ticket on its basis.
Camera Dependability. As stated above, it’s the responsibility of the department to prove your guilt. So, if the prosecution can’t prove 100% dependability of the camera, it makes their case feeble to defend.
Manufacturer’s Testification. A representative of the camera manufacturer has to appear at the time of the trial. He/she has to testify that the camera was perfectly functional at the time when the picture was taken. In case, this doesn’t happen, the camera’s precision is questionable.
The Sixth Amendment. This amendment to the law empowers the accused to claim that the picture is hearsay. This can make the photo inadmissible as an evidence.
Once you’ve got a traffic ticket in Illinois, you must hire an expert lawyer to fight your case in the court. Not taking timely action or simply paying the fine isn’t going to be enough in order to safeguard your interests.
However, it’s not an easy task to defend yourself in the court against the photographic evidence and/or the word of a police officer. Ktenas Law has the most experienced attorneys to protect you in cases of red light violation.