Former State's Attorney With Over 35 Years of Experience

How Traffic Light Cameras Can Be Used as Evidence of a Car Collision/Accident

Intersection car accidents are a significant portion of car accident occurrences and litigated cases. Illinois is ranked 5th among the top ten states for running red traffic lights. The National Safety Administration estimated that 9,227 people in the US died in red-light-running-related car accidents.

Red-light running caused the deaths of more than 840 people in 2019 alone. 2/3 of these intersection car accident victims are people other than the person who ran the red light, such as bicyclists, pedestrians, and the occupants of the other vehicles.

Why Are Traffic Light Cameras Important?

Nobody expects to be involved in a car accident. One at that point would not be thinking that, at any time, they will need to recall minute details of events leading up to the car crash. Since, even in the best circumstances, human perception cannot be perfect, it is vital to gather more evidence before it disappears. Obtaining traffic light camera footage immediately after an accident can help support and prove the other driver’s negligence.

Though credible witnesses are the key to winning a car crash case, they can sometimes be rare, reluctant to cooperate, or cannot be cross-examined. Because traffic surveillance and red lights are always present, they are beginning to serve as the best witnesses in any intersection car crash because they will not move far away or recant statements at the witness stand. Even the most hardened judges will believe what they can see with their eyes.

An experienced car accident attorney or personal injury attorney can best help coordinate the review and prompt request of any wrongdoing that is caught on camera before the evidence is erased. Acquiring the available traffic light camera footage can also help the car accident victim receive the most beneficial compensation for their injury claim.

Understanding Traffic Light Camera Technology

On the four corners of every intersection, red light cameras are monitored on poles to obtain photographic evidence from different angles in every direction. They are meticulously engineered and maintained to capture red-light running and intersection collisions. Red-light cameras have three essential elements:

  1. Camera(s)
  2. A computer
  3. Triggers

The technology used is complex. There is a detection zone with usually two loop triggers that are located underground near the stop line or crosswalk to detect a vehicle when it moves across a particular point on the road. The computer works as the monitor between these triggers and the traffic lights. When the driver drives across the detection zone above a certain speed while the traffic light is red, this sets off a trigger signal to the computer.

Red-Light Camera Footage as Car Accident Evidence

Though they have been around for more than 40 years, the last decade has seen red light cameras gain in popularity. Some states solely use red light cameras to catch red light violations. Others use them to catch speeders.

Red-light camera footage is beneficial as intersection car accident evidence because it is designed to capture different types of traffic violations, including;

  • Illegal right-hand turns.
  • Turning right without stopping completely.
  • Going through a red light.

And also, motorists who are violating traffic regulations by;

  • Blocking the intersection.
  • Failing to stop behind a school bus that has stopped or at a stop sign.
  • Disobeying railroad signs.

Many jurisdictions treat red-light camera footage citations the same way as general parking tickets—regardless of who was in the driver’s seat, the vehicle’s registered owner is the liable one. Though citations are issued only upon clear evidence of traffic violations, tickets are not issued automatically to each vehicle captured on red-light cameras.

Instead, a trained police officer or any other authorized person reviews the camera footage before issuing a citation. Some state laws have red light cameras set up to take photos only of violating vehicles’ rear license plates, while other states require an actual photo of the driver.

Therefore, in most intersection car accidents, there is photographic evidence from traffic light cameras whenever a red light has been run due to the aforementioned triggers.

How You Can Obtain Traffic Light Camera Photographic Evidence

In some municipalities, the recorded image of the traffic violation is usually attached to the violation notice. In others, the camera video clip or image of the citation is found on www.violationinfo.com when one enters the PIN and notice number of the violation notice. Such camera footage is also usually submitted in municipal court proceedings as evidence for violation prosecution.

Subrogation practitioners and insurance claim professionals are well advised to check thoroughly into the presence of any photographic equipment before the evidence is destroyed soon after a car accident.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

A qualified auto accident attorney can help you gather all the necessary photographic evidence. Either from a traffic light camera or video surveillance from businesses near the car accident scene. It is crucial to understand that even though evidence captured on camera may increase your car accident case as an injured victim, it could also negatively impact your personal injury claim if not used accordingly.

It is, therefore, best to partner with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help navigate you through all the steps necessary to settle your car accident claim.

Trust Us as Your Best Car Accident Lawyers in Illinois

Michael J. Brennan’s Injury and Accident Law Firm has certified, experienced car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers who have been defending car accident victims since 1995. Our car accident lawyers are highly skilled in helping residents of Illinois seek compensation for their insurance claims due to serious injuries sustained in an auto accident incurred by another driver’s aggressive driving.

We can help you prove your case and get a fair car accident settlement for your car accident claim, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and future medical bills from the insurance company.

For more information on the use of traffic light cameras as evidence of a car crash and to request a free consultation, you can visit either our Orlando Park law office or our Chicago law office. You can also call 708-578-7914.

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