Posted On: June 3, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Car Accident Law Firm: Local Lawmaker Wants Red Light Runners to Take Safety Course

In Chicago, the City Council’s Finance Committee Chairman, Edward M. Burke, has introduced an ordinance telling the Department of Administrative Hearings to come up with a “red light education program” that Chicago drivers caught on red light cameras would have to take. The cost for the course is $25 and would focus on helping the motorists become repeat offenders. Drivers that did not complete the course would be fined $50. Already, red light camera runners must pay a $100 fine.

Burke says the course could help decrease the number of Chicago motor vehicle accidents involving people driving through an intersection even when they are supposed to stop at a red light. Statistically, 27% of the six million US motor vehicle crashes that occur every year take place at intersections.

According to US traffic statistics, about 153,000 people were hurt and nearly 900 others died in motor vehicle crashes involving someone running through a red light. About 50% of these victims were either occupants in the vehicle that was not running the red light or pedestrians.

Currently, there are red light cameras in 143 Chicago intersections that are known for spots for traffic accidents. Another 39 cameras will go up later in the year and by 2012, 330 Chicago intersections will have red light cameras. There has been a 59% decrease in red light running since the cameras were installed.

In 2008, the City of Chicago made $44.8 million from the 579,560 traffic tickets that were issued because people were caught on camera running red lights. Between January and March 2009, 148,612 tickets were issued to red light runners, generating $13.3 million in revenue.

Some Facts About Red Light Cameras in Illinois:

• Regardless of who drove through the red light, in Illinois, it is the owner of the vehicle that gets the ticket.
• An Illinois red light ticket will not affect your insurance rates or driving record.
• Under Illinois law, the red light cameras cannot take a picture of the driver’s face.
• Most Illinois red light violations occur on weekends.

Drivers nabbed by red light cameras may need school, Chicago Sun-Times, June 3, 2009

10 facts about red-light cameras, Chicago Tribune, April 8, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Q & A: Red Light Cameras, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Traffic Safety Fact Sheets, NHTSA

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