Rep. Breen Takes Aim at Outrageous Fees Charged to Motorists who Contest Red Light Camera Tickets

A long-time opponent of red light cameras, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) is taking aim at excessive filing fees that are charged to motorists who request a court hearing to contest an alleged violation.

HB 5682, filed by Breen this legislative session, seeks to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code by limiting filing fees associated with a judicial review of a red light camera ticket to no more than $20. “The red light camera legislation currently in the Illinois statutes prohibits municipalities or counties with red light cameras from charging violators an additional fee for choosing to exercise their right to an administrative or judicial hearing to contest a ticket,” said Breen. “Unfortunately, those same considerations don’t apply in circuit court hearings, where filing fees can be in the hundreds of dollars.”

According to Breen, mistakes are common within automated red light camera systems, and it is not uncommon for motorists who lawfully enter interactions before a stoplight turns red, or who make a legal right turn after stopping, to receive a ticket in the mail. Breen says studies have also shown that the cameras produce massive revenue without significantly improving safety on roads. “We are learning more every day about these cameras, and the statistics show that they have not noticeably increased safety,” Breen said. “Municipalities are bringing in big money as a result of these tickets, and now motorists are taking a huge second hit from filing fees that sometimes exceed the cost of the original ticket. My bill would halt this practice by limiting filing fees to $20 or less.”

HB 5682 is scheduled for consideration in the House’s Transportation-Vehicles & Safety Committee on Wednesday, April 5 at 9:00 AM, in Springfield.