Traffic Cameras Lead to More Arrests

 Posted on June 28,2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerWhat do traffic cameras have to do with gun crime? According to advocates for license plate recognition technology, quite a lot. Shootings along Illinois expressways have decreased by roughly a third since the state started using this technology. These cameras also make it easier for police to track down stolen vehicles and recover guns used in crimes that offenders have discarded along highways. However, the ACLU and other civil rights organizations have opposed the use of traffic cameras to collect detailed information, including plate numbers and vehicle descriptions, citing privacy concerns. If you were recently arrested after being spotted by one of these high-tech cameras, you need a knowledgeable Cook County, IL criminal defense attorney to defend you.

What Data Do Traffic Cameras Collect? 

Traffic cameras can do much more than mail you a ticket for stopping just past the white line at a red light. These cameras now collect a wealth of information about any vehicles that happen to drive past them - even if there is no reason to suspect that the driver is breaking any laws. Traffic cameras can now collect your license plate number, the make, model, and color of your vehicle, and timestamped GPS coordinates. The cameras can also capture images and video.

This means that even if you are not suspected of a crime in any way, the police might know where you were when you were there, what you were driving, and what you were doing. Police argue that these cameras can be used to help solve serious crimes, including firearms-related homicides, vehicle theft, kidnappings, and even vehicular homicides by drunk drivers.

Are Traffic Cameras an Invasion of Privacy? 

Organizations that oppose the use of these high-tech traffic cameras argue that they violate innocent people’s constitutional rights and amount to an unreasonable search. Privacy advocates are uncomfortable with the idea of law enforcement tracking ordinary residents who are not suspected of a crime to this degree. Because these cameras are so ubiquitous, it is now very easy for police to track the whereabouts of nearly anyone who drives on expressways.

Police ordinarily need a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on a person’s vehicle, but traffic cameras effectively allow them to track an individual’s movements without any degree of suspicion that the person has committed a crime.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law can help if you have been arrested based on traffic camera footage. Reputable Cook County, IL criminal defense attorney Scott Anderson has over 25 years of experience in criminal law and stays informed about evolving criminal defense issues. Contact us at 847-253-3400 for a complimentary consultation.

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