Photo and Video Enforcement Program: Village of Gurnee Ordinance

ARTICLE VI. AUTOMATED TRAFFIC LAW
ENFORCEMENT SYSTEMS


Sec. 78-150. Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to authorize automated traffic law enforcement at high crash or other high-risk locations. The objective of automated traffic law enforcement is to reduce traffic accidents and improve roadway safety. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-151. Definitions.
As used in this article, words or terms shall have the following meanings unless the context or usage clearly indicates that another meaning is intended:

Automated traffic law violation means a violation described in section 11-208.6 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.6) and pursuant to the provisions of this article, wherein a vehicle enters an intersection identified in subsection (b) of this section against a red light signal in violation of section 11-306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-306) or a similar provision of the Municipal Code of the village.

Automated traffic law enforcement system
means a device with one or more motor vehicle sensors working in conjunction with a red light signal to produce recorded images of motor vehicles entering an intersection against a red light signal in violation of section 11-306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-306) or a similar provision of the Municipal Code of the village.

Certified report
means a report concerning five or more unpaid fines or penalties for automated traffic law violations made by the village to the secretary of state in accordance with section 6-306.5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/6-306.5).

Determination of liability
results when the registered owner or lessee fails to pay the $100.00 fine or contest the violation notice within 21 days of the issuance of the violation notice. If the owner or lessee fails to pay the fine within 21 days of the issuance of the violation notice or contest the violation notice, the fine becomes a debt due and owing the village.

Final determination of liability
results from any of the following:

(1) A person failed to timely pay the fine and/or late fee within 14 days after service of the determination of liability notice and failed to timely request an administrative hearing;

(2) A person failed to timely pay the fine and/or late fee after a hearing officer's finding of liability and all administrative review procedures provided in this section have been exhausted or expired; or (3) A person failed to timely pay the fine and/or late fee, failed to timely appear at a scheduled administrative hearing, failed to timely pay the fine and/or late fee after service of the finding of liability (by reason of default judgment) and failed to file a petition to set aside the default judgment within 14 days of the date default judgment was entered or timely filed a petition to set aside a default judgment which was denied.

Finding of liability results after an administrative hearing is conducted in person or by mail and the administrative hearing officer determines that the registered owner or lessee is liable for an automated traffic law violation.

Notices.

(1) Determination of liability notice means a notice indicating that the owner or lessee failed to pay the $100.00 fine indicated in the violation notice within the requisite 21-day period and also failed to contest the violation notice within the requisite 21-day period. The determination of liability notice shall indicate that the fine amount, that being $100.00, is a debt due and owing the Village. The notice shall further state that failure to pay the $100.00 fine within 14 days will result in a late fee of $100.00 added to the original fine.

(2) Final determination of liability notice means a notice issued pursuant to section 11-208.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.3) indicating that a final determination of liability has been reached and that the registered owner or lessee of the offending vehicle is liable for an auto mated traffic law violation. A final determination of liability notice shall contain the language that the unpaid fine and late fee are a debt due and owing the village and that the village may petition the court for a judgment against the registered owner for the amount of the unpaid fine and late fee if it is not paid within the period of time specified. Further, the notice shall indicate that five or more unpaid automated traffic law violations may result in the suspension of the registered owner's driver's license.

(3) Finding of liability notice means the notice sent by the traffic administrator after an administrative hearing indicating there has been a finding of liability by the administrative hearing officer. The finding of liability notice shall state that the registered owner or lessee has 14 days from the date of the issuance of the finding of liability notice to pay the fine and that failure to pay said fine within the14-day period will result in a late fee of $100.00 being assessed.

(4) Suspension notice means a notice of impending driver's license suspension issued pursuant to section 11-208.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.3) and pursuant to the provisions of this article as the result of five or more unpaid automated traffic law violations. A notice of suspension shall state that failure to pay the fines and penalties owing within 45 days of the date of the suspension notice will result in the village notifying the secretary of state that the person is eligible for initiation of suspension proceedings pursuant to section 6-306.5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625ILCS 5/6-306.5).

(5) Violation notice means a notice issued by the Traffic Administrator or his designee indicating that an automated traffic law violation occurred. Said notice shall be in accordance with sections 11-208.3 and 11-208.6 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.3 and 208.6) and shall include and specify the following:

a. The date, time and place of the violation;
b. A copy of the recorded images;
c. A statement that the recorded images are prima facie evidence of a violation of a red light signal;
d. The amount of the fine and the amount of a penalty that may be assessed for late payment;
e. The make of the vehicle (if readily discernible);
f. The state registration number;
g. The identification number or name of the person issuing the notice;
h. A statement that payment of the indicated fine and any applicable penalty for late payment shall operate as a final disposition of the violation;
i. A warning that failure to pay the civil penalty or to contest liability in a timely manner is an admission of liability and may result in a suspension of the driving privileges of the registered owner of the vehicle;
j. A statement that the person may elect to proceed by paying the civil penalty or by challenging the charge by requesting an administrative hearing; and
k. The time frame and manner in which an administrative hearing to challenge the violation may be obtained.

Recorded images means images showing the time, date and location of an automated traffic law violation recorded by an automated traffic law enforcement system on:

(1) Two or more photographs;
(2) Two or more microphotographs;
(3) Two or more electronic images; or
(4) A video recording showing the motor vehicle and clearly identifying the registration plate number of the motor vehicle on at least one image or portion of the recording.

System means, individually, an automated traffic law enforcement system or, collectively, automated traffic law enforcement systems established in the Village pursuant to the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-1 et seq.) and this article of the Municipal Code.

Traffic administrator means the village administrator or his or her designee. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-152. System locations.
The village hereby determines to establish systems at the following intersections located within the corporate limits of the village:

(1) Route 132 and Hunt Club Road;
(2) Route 41 at Delany Road;
(3) Route 132 at Dilley's Road;
(4) Washington Street at Route 21;
(5) Hunt Club Road at Washington Street;
(6) Route 132 at Route 21; and
(7) Additional locations as deemed appropriate by due process.
(Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)


Sec. 78-153. Duties of traffic administrator.
The traffic administrator or his designee shall be authorized to adopt, distribute and process violation notices and other notices required by section 11-208.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.3), to collect money paid as fines and penalties for automated traffic law violations and to establish and administer a procedure by which persons contesting a violation notice are afforded an administrative hearing in accordance with this section of the Municipal Code of the village. The Traffic Administrator is authorized to make a certified report to the secretary of state pursuant to section 6-306.5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/6-306.5), and any such certified report shall contain the information required under section 6-306.5(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/306.5(c)). (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-154. Issuance and service of violation notice and notice of determination of liability.
A violation notice shall issue to the registered owner or lessee of a vehicle committing an automated traffic law violation. A violation notice shall be served by first class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the registered owner of a vehicle cited for an automated traffic law violation as recorded with the secretary of state within 30 days after the secretary of state notifies the village of the identity of the owner of the vehicle, but in no event later than 90 days after the date of the violation. Service of a violation notice shall be deemed complete as of the date of deposit in the United States mail. If the fine for an automated traffic law violation has not been paid and an administrative hearing has not been requested within 21 days of service of the violation notice, a determination of liability notice shall be issued and served in the same manner as the violation notice. If the $100.00 fine due and owing the village is not paid within 14 days after the date the determination of liability notice is served, a late fee of $100.00 shall be assessed and shall also become a debt due and owing the village. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-155. Review of recorded images prior to issuance of violation notice.
Before a violation notice may be issued for any automated traffic law violation, a determination must be made by a technician employed or contracted by the village that, based on inspection of recorded images generated by the system, the motor vehicle was being operated in violation of section 11-208.6 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.6) or this article in that the vehicle entered an intersection identified in section 78-152 of this section against a red light signal in violation of section 11-306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-306) or a similar provision of the Municipal Code of the village. If the technician determines that the vehicle entered the intersection as part of a funeral procession or in order to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle or at the direction of an authorized police or emergency service officer, a violation notice shall not be issued. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-156. Recorded images confidential.
Recorded images made by an automated traffic law 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 of this article, for statistical purposes and for other governmental purposes. However, any recorded image evidencing a violation of this article may be admissible in any proceeding brought by the municipality or on behalf of the people of the state resulting from the issuance of a citation. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-157. Violation notice prima facie evidence.
The original or a facsimile copy of the violation notice or, in the case of a violation notice produced by a system's computerized device, a printed record generated by such showing the facts entered on a violation notice, shall be retained by the traffic administrator, and shall be a record kept in the ordinary course of business. A violation notice issued, signed and served in accordance with this article of the Municipal Code and section 11-208.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-208.3), or the printed record generated by the system's computerized device, shall be prima facie evidence of the correctness of the facts shown on the violation notice. The original or facsimile copy of the violation notice or the printed record generated by the system's computerized device shall be admissible in any subsequent administrative or legal proceedings. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-158. Administrative hearing of violation notice; administrative review.
The registered owner of the vehicle cited in a violation notice shall have the opportunity for an administrative hearing in accordance with this article of the Municipal Code of the village in which said owner may contest the merits of the alleged violation. The administrative hearing shall be on the date, and at the time and place set forth in the written notice of hearing as issued by the traffic administrator to the person requesting the hearing. The lessee of a vehicle cited in a violation notice likewise shall be afforded the opportunity for an administrative hearing of the same kind afforded the registered owner. Any request for an administrative hearing in accordance with this section of the Municipal Code shall be made in writing within 21 days of service of the violation notice. The formal or technical rules of evidence shall not apply at any such hearing. Such hearings may be recorded. Evidence including hearsay, may be admitted only if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonable prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. The administrative hearing officer shall be empowered to administer oaths and to secure by subpoena both the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant documents. Persons appearing at such a hearing may be represented by counsel at their own expense. A finding of liability by the administrative hearing officer is subject to judicial review by way of an action for administrative review filed in the circuit court of the county in accordance with section 3-101 et seq. of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq.). Any person filing for judicial review pursuant to this section shall be subject to the assessment of costs for the preparation and certification of the record of proceedings before the hearing officer. Such cost shall be assessed at $25.00 for the first page of the transcript and $5.00 for each page thereafter. Any failure to pay such fee shall subject the party seeking review to the provisions of 735 ILCS 5/3-109, including dismissal of the complaint and other applicable results. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-159. Administrative hearings.
An administrative hearing officer shall preside over all administrative hearings conducted pursuant to this article of the Code and said administrative hearings shall be conducted pursuant to the administrative hearing procedures set forth in chapter 2, section 2-300 et seq. of this Code. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007

Sec. 78-160. Contest violation notice by certified mail.
Registered owners or lessees of the cited vehicle who receive violation notices may contest the merits of the alleged automated traffic law violation without attending a hearing by sending a signed statement, under oath, together with any supporting documentation, to the traffic administrator via certified mail, return receipt requested, within ten days after service of the violation notice. Such a statement shall set forth the reasons why a finding of liability shall not be entered. Registered owners or lessees of the cited vehicle may contest the charges by certified mail under this section using the same available defenses as herein stated. The traffic administrator shall forward all timely submitted materials to the administrative hearing officer for review and determination and the traffic administrator shall issue and serve the findings of the administrative hearing officer pursuant to the provisions of this article. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-161. Defenses.
The administrative hearing officer may consider the following in defense of a violation:
(1) That the driver of the vehicle passed through the intersection when the light was red in order to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle;
(2) The driver of the vehicle passed through the intersection when the light was red as part of a funeral procession; or at the direction of an authorized police or emergency service officer;
(3) That the motor vehicle or registration plates of the motor vehicle were stolen before the violation occurred and not under the control of or in the possession of the owner at the time of the violation. To demonstrate that the motor vehicle or registration plates were stolen before the violation occurred and were not under the control or possession of the owner at the time of the violation, the owner must submit proof in the form of a certified copy of a police report concerning the stolen motor vehicle or registration plates which was filed with a law enforcement agency in a timely manner. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-162. Issuance and service of finding of liability notice.
The traffic administrator shall issue to the registered owner or lessee a finding of liability notice indicating whether there has been a finding of liability by the administrative hearing officer. A finding of liability notice shall be served by first class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the address appearing on the request for administrative hearing within 14 days of the date of the administrative hearing. However, if the hearing is conducted in person, then the finding of liability notice may be personally served upon the registered owner, lessee or his or her agent at the conclusion of the hearing. Service shall be complete as of the date of deposit in the United States mail. The finding of liability notice shall indicate that the person has the right to appeal the hearing officer's decision to the circuit court of the county in accordance with the Administrative Review Act. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-163. Issuance and service of final determination of liability notice.
A final determination of liability notice shall be issued to the registered owner or lessee following a "final determination of liability" as provided in section 78-162 of this article. A final determination of liability notice shall be served by first class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the registered owner of the cited vehicle as recorded with the secretary of state or, if any notice to that address is returned as undeliverable, to the last known address recorded in a United States Post Office approved database or, under section 11-1306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-1306), to the lessee of the cited vehicle at the last address known to the lessor of the cited vehicle at the time of the lease or, if any notice to that address is returned as undeliverable, to the last known address recorded in a United States Post Office database. Service of the final determination of liability notice shall be eemed complete as of the date of deposit in the United States mail. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-200

Sec. 78-164. Manner and grounds for contesting final determination of liability.
A person owing an unpaid fine or late fee for an automated traffic law violation may file a written petition to set aside a final determination of liability. The petition shall be filed by sending the same, together with any documentation in support thereof, to the traffic administrator by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal delivery to the traffic administrator. The grounds for such a petition shall be limited to:
(1) The person not having been the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle on the date the violation notice was issued;
(2) The person having already paid the fine or late fee for the violation in question; and
(3) Excusable failure to appear at or request a new date for a hearing. The traffic administrator shall render his decision in writing. In the event that such a petition is granted upon a showing of just cause, and the final determination of liability set aside, the registered owner or lessee shall be provided with an administrative hearing on the merits for that violation. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)

Sec. 78-165. Issuance and service of suspension notice.
A suspension notice shall be issued upon the accrual of five or more unpaid automated traffic law violations. Service of a suspension notice shall be made by first class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the address recorded with the secretary of state or, if any notice to that address is returned as undeliverable, to the last known address recorded in a United States Post Office approved database. Service of a suspension notice shall be complete as of the date of deposit in the United States mail. (Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007

Sec. 78-166. Contesting suspension resulting from automated traffic law violations.
If the traffic administrator provides a suspension notice to a vehicle owner and subsequently makes a certified report to the secretary of state, the subject vehicle owner may challenge the accuracy of the certified report in writing. To do so, the vehicle owner must submit to the traffic administrator a written statement under oath, together with any supporting documentation, establishing one of the following grounds for challenging the accuracy of the certified report:
(1) That the person was not the owner or lessee of the subject vehicle or vehicles receiving five or more automated traffic law violations on the date or dates such violation notices were issued; or
(2) That the person already paid the fines or penalties for the five or more automated traffic law violations indicated on the certified report. Such statement and supporting documentation must be sent to the traffic administrator by certified mail, return receipt requested, or hand-delivered to the traffic administrator within five days after the person receives notice from the secretary of state that that the person's driver's license will be suspended at the end of a specified period of time unless the secretary of state is presented with a notice from the village certifying that the fines or penalties due and owing have been paid or that the inclusion of the person's name on the certified report was in error. The traffic administrator or his designee shall immediately review all documents submitted pursuant to this subsection and shall determine whether the certified report was in error. If the report was in error, the traffic administrator shall notify the secretary of state immediately that inclusion of the person's name on the certified report was in error.
(Ord. No. 2007-108, § I, 12-5-2007)