Red Light Cameras: Innocent But Guilty

Jeffrey A. Parness

Northern Illinois University - College of Law

January 19, 2010

Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 98, p. 158, 2010

Automated traffic enforcement schemes employing cameras are increasingly used by local governments. In some schemes, as in Chicago, traffic violations are pursued against vehicle owners as well as drivers where there is no mens rea requirement that typically accompanies crimes. Strict liability is justified because of owners= ability to control the drivers and because traffic accidents will be reduced.

Though angering many citizens, automated schemes may well spread. If so, many new schemes will employ administrative processes, as in Chicago, which free trial courts for the more significant civil and criminal cases. Many vehicles owners will be fined for the bad driving by others.

This short article explores the Chicago traffic ordinances. It then examines the limits on automated traffic enforcement schemes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 2

Keywords: red light enforcement, traffic, administrative adjudications, mens rea, criminal law, administrative law, driving, vehicle laws

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Date posted: July 21, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Parness, Jeffrey A., Red Light Cameras: Innocent But Guilty (January 19, 2010). Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 98, p. 158, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1645410

Contact Information

Jeffrey A. Parness (Contact Author)
Northern Illinois University - College of Law ( email )
Swen Parson Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States
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