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
Date posted: July 21, 2010