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Automated Speed Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions

How does the new Children’s Safety Zone Program work to protect children and other pedestrians?

The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – especially in school and park zones.  It uses automated safety cameras to identify and ticket motorists who are breaking the law by exceeding the speed limits. The registered owner of the speeding vehicle will be issued the speeding ticket. 

 

What are the Safety Zone times and speed limits?

School Zones:

School days, Monday through Friday

7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 20 mph speed limit when children are present in the safety zone and 30 mph when no children are present in the safety zone

4 p.m. to 7 p.m.:  30 mph speed limit

Park Zones:

Every day

Times are variable. Visit www.cityofchicago.org for more information on specific parks.  Generally, Park Zones will be enforced from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.: 30 mph speed limit

 

Will there be a warning period?

Violations recorded in the first 30 days of a camera’s installation will receive a warning notice.  In addition to the warning notice provided, each license plate will receive one warning notice per license plate.

 

How will I know where speed cameras are located?

The City of Chicago is conducting an ongoing educational campaign, and will list the location of all automated enforcement systems on CDOT's website.  All automated enforcement systems will have signs clearly indicating that an automated enforcement system is installed.

 

What are the fines for a speeding violation?

The fine is $35.00 for a speeding violation six or more miles over the applicable speed limit, but less than 11 miles over such speed limit.  The fine is $100.00 if the recorded speed limit is 11 or more miles over the applicable speed limit.

 

How does the automated safety camera system work?

The camera system uses a 3D tracking radar, high-resolution digital camera and high-definition video camera.   The 3D radar identifies any vehicle traveling faster than the posted speed limit and triggers both the camera and the video, which caputure the event.

The first image shows the vehicle driving in excess of the speed limt.  The second image shows the distance and timethe vehicle has traveled.  The license plate is taken from a close-up of one of the images.  Addiitonal data collected includes the time, date, posted speed limit, vehicle speed, location, lane and direction of travel.  A high-definition video clip of the event is provided as evidence.

 

How will the public be informed when new safety zones are put in place?

There are three ways that news about new safety zones will be shared with the public. 

  1. The City of Chicago website will be updated on a weekly basis with camera locations and the speed limits for each safety zone. 
  2. To ensure that the public is well informed of each safety zone a 30-day warning period will provided at each location.
  3. Signage will be placed in each Children’s Safety Zone where cameras are deployed.

 

How can an Automated Speed Enforcement Violation be contested?

The registered owner may request a hearing to challenge an Automated Speed Enforcement Violation.  The owner has fourteen (14) days from the date of issuance to contest an Automated Speed Enforcement Violation issued to the vehicle.  At this point, the owner has the option to contest the violation either by mail or in person. If no response is received through payment or a hearing request, a Notice of Determination is sent stating that the owner has been found liable by default, and must appear in person to petition to set the default aside. This option must be exercised within twenty-one (21) days from the date of the Determination. Once the twenty-one (21) days have lapsed, the opportunity to contest has expired. A Notice of Final Determination is mailed informing the vehicle owner that their options to challenge the ticket, both administratively and judicially, have been forfeited. A penalty that can be equal to the fine amount is assessed once the ticket reaches Final Determination status.

The following defenses are allowed for most speeding tickets:

  • The respondent was not the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the violation;
  • The cited vehicle or its state registration plates (license plates) were stolen at the time of the violation;
  • The facts alleged in the speeding violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violated;
  • The operator of the vehicle was issued a Uniform Traffic Citation for a speeding violation occurring within one-eighth of a mile and 15 minutes of the violation that was recorded by the system; 
  • The vehicle was an authorized emergency vehicle.

 

If I receive an Automated Speed Enforcement violation, can I see video of the alleged violation on the internet?

Yes, video and digital still photos will be made available.  The recorded speed will also be made available.  Instructions on the violation will show you how to access a secured website.

 

If I receive an Automated Speed Enforcement violation, can anyone see my violation or is it private?

Recorded images made by an Automated Speed Enforcement system are confidential and shall be made available only to the alleged violator and governmental and law enforcement agencies for purposes of adjudicating a violation, statistical purposes, or other governmental purposes.

 

Do people who lease or rent cars have to pay for Automated Speed Enforcement violations?

Yes, if upon the receipt of a notice of a violation sent within 120 days of the violation, the lessor of the vehicle within 60 days thereafter, provide to the city the name and address of the lessee.