Archive for the ‘Illinois Traffic Arrests’ Category

Bartlett DUI Arrests Set By Police for Summer 2014

June 19th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

The Bartlett DUI Police have announced that they will be spending extra time before and after the Fourth of July 2014 to arrest people for DUI. They will be paid extra bounty money from the Illinois Department of Transportation based on whether they make enough arrests and issue enough tickets to satisfy the quota requirements of the federal grant.

Whether such a procedure of filling an arrest or ticket quota is legal under the new Illinois traffic laws might become an issue.

Since the police will get paid a bonus if they meet their quota for DUI arrests, you can expect more to happen than would be normal.

Since the police will get paid a bonus if they meet their quota for DUI arrests, you can expect more to happen than would be normal.

Illinois Camera Tickets Illegal Says States Attorney

May 27th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Illinois Camera Tickets Do Not Comply With the Law

Illinois Camera Tickets Do Not Comply With the Law

Illinois Camera tickets are illegal and should not be paid, warns an Illinois prosecutor from East St. Louis. He claims that the ticket system used by the private company that sends out the ‘tickets’ fails to comply with the pleading requirements of the Illinois Supreme Court,  St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said.

According to a report at

The cameras snap a photo of the vehicle’s license plate as it speeds through work zones, and then a ticket is sent by mail to the person to whom the car is registered.

Kelly said his problem is not with the cameras themselves, or the police department, but with the collection process being used by the company that collects the fines. “There is no basis for them to pay the ticket because they are not in compliance with Illinois Supreme Court rules,” Kelly said.

It’s something East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks disagrees with.

“The city contends that the citations are valid and that the process is proper,” he said.

“The city’s attorney and police chief have been meeting with county officials, including Mr. Kelly, and the county has agreed that the city has the authority to issue the citations. What is at issue is the administrative process of handling the violations once they are issued.”

Kelly said the citations are invalid because they do not conform to uniform citations as is required by the Illinois Supreme Court.

“The citations are not in the correct format, size, or content,” Kelly said. And, the tickets that are being issued say the offense is not a moving violation.

“How can speeding be a non-moving violation?” Kelly said.

Kelley said Illinois statutes allow drivers to have due process of law and have the right to go to court when issued a ticket and that is not being done here.

The cameras were installed in March, and motorists in recent weeks began receiving tickets. Dozens of motorists have angrily complained about the tickets and the fines, some of which are more than $200.

Kelly said his office has been bombarded with calls and emails about the tickets.

About two weeks ago, Kelly asked the city to stop issuing tickets until every aspect of the process is in compliance with the law. So for now, laser camera speeding tickets are not being issued.

“They (motorists) have every right to due process. The ticket company does not have the authority to do what it is doing,” he said.

Kelly said he is working with city to bring every aspect of the process into compliance.

He also said police are doing an excellent job and they should be concerned about speeders on their roads.

Mike Wagner, East St. Louis city attorney, said: “We have been in discussions with the county and the State’s Attorneys office to resolve the issues the State’s Attorney has raised. While the city does not necessarily agree with the county’s position, we are trying to work through this so everything is agreeable to all parties.”

Police Chief Michael Floore said the laser cameras are not a money grab for the city, but a stepped-up effort by the department to increase citizen safety and the safety of police officers who are outside of their vehicles writing tickets.

Signs are posted in work zones along I-64 warning of the presence of laser cameras, however officers have also used hand-held cameras elsewhere in the city.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

Read more here:

Automated License Plate Readers Are Improper as Sole Basis Stopping Drivers

May 22nd, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Automated License Plate readers are scary – nothing is closer to Big Brother than these, in my opinion. What happens when they falsely report a stolen vehicle and the driver is removed at gun point? Read the below story from Forensic Magazine to find out:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has put police on notice: an automatic license plate reader (ALPR) alert, without human verification, is not enough to pull someone over.

Last week, the appellate court issued an important opinion in Green v. City & County of San Francisco, a civil rights lawsuit that calls into question whether technology alone can provide the basis for reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment. The panel overturned a lower court ruling in favor of San Francisco and its police department, allowing the case to go to trial.

A case of computer error
Late one night in 2009, San Francisco cops pulled over Denise Green, an African-American city worker driving her own car. At gunpoint, they handcuffed her, forced to her knees, and then searched both her and her car — all because an automatic license plate reader misread her plate and identified her car as stolen.

The first error was technological: the ALPR unit misread Green’s plate, recording a “3” as a “7.” The next errors were human. The officer driving the ALPR-equipped squad car never visually verified that Green’s plate number matched the ALPR “hit” — despite an SFPD policy that requires this — even after he called it in and dispatch matched the plate to a vehicle that looked nothing like Green’s. The officer who later pulled Green over also failed to verify the plate, even though he had ample opportunity to do so while stopped immediately behind Green’s car at a red light.

Based solely on the ALPR “hit” and dispatch confirmation that the false hit was linked to a stolen vehicle, the second officer called in for backup and initiated a “high-risk” or “felony” traffic stop. While at least four officers pointed their guns at Green, she was ordered from her car and forced to spend at least 10 minutes handcuffed and on her knees (this proved so taxing, given Green’s physical condition, that the officers later had to help her up).

A search of Green and her car turned up nothing, and she had no criminal record. Although at this point the officers should have realized they pulled over the wrong car, and—more critically — that Green’s license plate was not the same as the car reported stolen, it still took the officers another 10 minutes before they figured out their mistake and let Green on her way.

Green sued the city and officers, claiming they violated her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The district court judge granted summary judgment in favor of defendants, finding it was reasonable for the officer that pulled Green over to assume the first officer had confirmed the ALPR hit and further holding it was a reasonable good faith “mistake” on the part of both officers to assume without verifying that Green’s plate matched the hit.

The Ninth Circuit disagreed, ruling a jury could find that a police officer’s unverified reliance on an ALPR hit is an insufficient basis for a traffic stop and that the subsequent search and seizure of Green could violate the Fourth Amendment. Importantly, the appeals court noted that an unconfirmed ALPR hit could not provide a legal basis to pull Green over.

Ironically, SFPD already had a policy that required cops to visually confirm that the plate on the car was the same as the plate ID’ed by the ALPR system. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (“IACP”) has described this as one of the “essential components” of training on ALPR use, and several of the state policies mentioned by IACP also require this verification. But in Green’s case, none of the officers followed that policy.

False positives and the danger of over-reliance on technology
This case shows clearly the risks of blind reliance on technology for identification in criminal investigations. If the ALPR camera had not alerted the first officer based on a false license plate read, Green never would have been stopped, and this tragedy could easily have been avoided.

More and more frequently, cops are looking to technology to do initial identification of suspected criminals—whether it’s ALPR for traffic stops, face recognition for mug shots, or DNA for crime scene forensics. Yet these technologies are fallible.

Just last month TechDirt reported that a driver in a Kansas City suburb found himself surrounded by cops with guns out after a license plate camera misread his plate. Similar situations are possible with DNA and face recognition. For example, a man was misidentified as the perpetrator of a brutal home invasion and murder in San Jose based solely on his DNA. Even though he had a good alibi — he was inebriated and in the hospital the night of the murder — he still spent five months in jail. Researchers at NYU note that face recognition poses false positive risks as well, especially when databases like FBI’s Next Generation Identification include many millions of face images. And even the FBI admits NGI fails to provide accurate results in at least 15 percent of IDs.


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