The implementation of various traffic cameras in Chicago, like speed, red-light, and live cameras, have impacted the frequency of car accidents in the area. Furthermore, images from these cameras can help victims strengthen a case for compensation if injured in a crash.
Traffic cameras can impact car accidents in Chicago in several ways. These devices might film or photograph images that provide insight into an accident’s sequence of events or identify a negligent driver. Traffic cameras in Chicago have also lowered the number of certain collisions, most notably intersection car accidents. This is largely because of the city’s Red-Light Camera Enforcement Program. Though traffic cameras do not prevent all car accidents from occurring, they can help victims prove a negligent driver’s fault if footage or photographs are readily available.
Victims can contact Rhatigan Law Offices to schedule a free case review with our Chicago car accident lawyers by calling (312) 578-8502 today.
How Do Traffic Cameras Document Car Accidents in Chicago?
A few types of traffic cameras are used throughout Chicago to monitor traffic and film or photograph negligent drivers in certain situations. Not all traffic cameras keep and store footage, however.
Largely because Chicago is a busy city that tends to see a considerable amount of traffic involving commuters, residents, and tourists, various traffic cameras exist throughout it. The first type is live traffic cameras. These devices stream footage to the website of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the website of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Because these cameras are used to provide live traffic updates to drivers, they typically do not keep videos, even if they happen to film a car accident. Even if we are unlikely to obtain traffic camera footage from live cameras, our Chicago personal injury lawyers can contact both CDOT and IDOT in case footage of your accident was stored.
Other types of traffic cameras, like red-light cameras and speed cameras, are also prevalent in Chicago. Instead of streaming live videos, these traffic cameras take pictures of certain transgressions by negligent drivers.
For example, a red-light camera can take photographs of a negligent driver that has run a stoplight. Speed cameras also take pictures, and photograph drivers that are speeding. The Chicago Police Department takes these images and uses them to identify negligent drivers so that it can ticket them. If a traffic camera was triggered at the time of your accident, those images might be available to you.
Can Traffic Cameras Prevent Car Accidents in Chicago?
In Chicago, traffic cameras are used as a deterrent to prevent drivers from acting negligently. Overall, the implementation of these cameras has been successful on that front. That said, accidents might still occur even in areas close to traffic cameras.
In 2003, Chicago introduced the Red-Light Camera Enforcement Program. Through this program, Chicago implemented red-light cameras at many intersections in the city, including those that saw a high volume of car accidents due to drivers ignoring stoplights. This program aimed to reduce intersection car accidents, which can be extremely dangerous.
According to CDOT, the Red-Light Camera Enforcement Program has been successful in decreasing intersection collisions. Recent data found that such crashes lowered to 57% from previous numbers in Chicago. Unfortunately, while the program has improved safety on the streets of Chicago, there is no guarantee that you will not be injured in a car accident in an intersection, even with the introduction of red-light cameras.
Speed cameras were implemented to improve street safety in similar ways, notably for children. Generally, these devices are situated in school zones, near parks, and other areas that children might frequent. Again, while speed cameras might deter drivers from speeding in certain situations, that does not mean that accidents due to speeding drivers are nonexistent in Chicago.
Regarding live traffic cameras, drivers are often unaware of their locations or their existence and might act as though they are not being filmed when driving. Because videos from live cameras typically aren’t stored, it is unclear if these devices have had an impact on the frequency of car accidents in Chicago.
Can Chicago Traffic Cameras Help Car Accident Victims?
Traffic cameras in Chicago can help victims of car accidents in several ways. These cameras can lower your chances of being injured in a crash, and the images they might take can help you prove a negligent driver’s fault if you are hurt in a collision.
If you can obtain videos or photographs from traffic cameras after a collision in Chicago, that can help your case for compensation. Often, the only images available are from speed and red-light cameras. These cameras can provide identifying photographs of a negligent driver. So, say you are injured in a crash, and the at-fault driver leaves the scene. In that case, we can contact the Chicago Police Department and request access to images from a nearby red-light or speed camera to identify the responsible party.
Although images from traffic cameras can be helpful, they are not always available. For example, the majority of speed cameras in Chicago are situated near intersections and schools. These are not the only locations car accidents happen. It is also important to note that speed and red-light cameras only take photos if they are triggered and are operating properly. This is not always the case.
Because of that, victims should not rely solely on traffic cameras to prove a negligent driver’s fault in a lawsuit for compensation. Other types of evidence, like photographs from the scene, eyewitness statements, medical records, and victims’ testimony, can also be helpful in proving fault. Often, such evidence is compelling enough to meet the burden of proof and recover compensation, even if traffic camera photographs or videos are unavailable in Chicago.
Our Chicago Lawyers Can Help You File a Car Accident Lawsuit
Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to set up a free case review with our Evanston, IL car accident lawyers.