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Will unpaid Illinois traffic camera fines be reported to credit bureaus?
March 8, 2012 12:55 PM   Subscribe

What happens with unpaid traffic camera tickets issued by Harwood Heights, Illinois?

Someone was driving my vehicle and received a red light violation from Harwood Heights. I may try contesting it, but that is probably futile. If I do not pay the exorbitant fine, what will happen?

IMPORTANT:
I live out-of-state, and the car is registered where I live. Ultimately, I am concerned about two things: 1- collections reporting the unpaid fine to credit report agencies / credit bureaus, and 2- problems if I choose to move to Illinois in the future.

As I understand it, reporting to credit bureaus for camera ticket fines is forbidden in some states. Is Illinois one of those states?


NOTE: I am not advocating for or suggesting illegal activity or dismissing of all traffic camera tickets. If I was truly at fault, I wouldn't bother asking this question.
Please only address my questions.
posted by dvrcthewrld to Law & Government (12 answers total)
 
If you can prove you weren't driving at the time, you should be able to get this dismissed.
posted by Oktober at 12:59 PM on March 8, 2012


Oktober, I appreciate the comment, but it is not relevant. Also, that just shows how this is an instance of guilty until proven innocent. Incidentally, the violation notice makes it clear that they do not care who was driving the vehicle, unless, of course, it was stolen or leased by another person at the time.
posted by dvrcthewrld at 1:09 PM on March 8, 2012


If you don't pay or successfully contest it, it will go on your record and your state can use that to assess points against you. Your insurance company will also pick it up and may increase your premiums.
posted by TheRaven at 1:29 PM on March 8, 2012


TheRaven, thank you, but I am almost entirely certain that you are mistaken about points on the record. I have read that Illinois, and most other states, will not assess points because the ticket is issued, essentially, to the car and to a particular driver.
posted by dvrcthewrld at 1:34 PM on March 8, 2012


Also, that just shows how this is an instance of guilty until proven innocent. Incidentally, the violation notice makes it clear that they do not care who was driving the vehicle, unless, of course, it was stolen or leased by another person at the time.

You can't get convicted of a crime you didn't commit. Just go to the hearing, say the other person was driving, and let them deal with it.
posted by empath at 1:58 PM on March 8, 2012


Also, if you don't pay it, you might get a hold on your license or tags when you try to renew it, depending on the relationship between your state in IL. A lot of states won't issue a license if you have a hold on your license in any state.
posted by empath at 2:03 PM on March 8, 2012


A lot of traffic cameras are run by companies under contract to the city, county, etc. I have read stories that you don't have to pay them.
posted by rhizome at 2:10 PM on March 8, 2012


rhizome, that's my suspicion, but I'm looking for information specifically related to Illinois. If I was in California, then I wouldn't even be asking; I'd just toss it.
posted by dvrcthewrld at 4:33 PM on March 8, 2012


That's why it's important to find out who operates the cameras.
posted by rhizome at 5:20 PM on March 8, 2012


i'm a resident of illinois. people who say you can get out of it by saying you were not driving are wrong. the ticket is issued to the car, not the person, like a parking ticket. it's also handled like a parking ticket so if you don't pay it will go to collections and appear on your credit report and whatnot.

supposedly after you get two or three the state can start withholding stuff like car registration. some municipalities, like chicago may, if they haven't already, enact laws making your car eligible for booting or withholding your income tax refund or even lottery winnings.

as for the tickets: about two thirds of the people i talk to that get red light tickets don't pay them. i haven't heard any stories about someone having to pay them off later. but that may change someday.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:45 PM on March 8, 2012


lester, that's the most helpful response yet, but could you elaborate on that and tell me how long your friends have gone without paying and without repercussions? Thanks.
posted by dvrcthewrld at 9:38 AM on March 9, 2012


one guy i know is a salesman and he said he's had about 10 or 12 in his family. personally i've had two--i paid the first one but didn't pay the second one when the website wanted me to download software to view the video of my red light running. that was almost 3 years ago; i haven't gotten a letter or call about it.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 10:20 AM on March 11, 2012


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