MN AG Slams IL Over Bogus Photo Tickets

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
mn ag slams il over bogus photo tickets

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is fed up with the state of Illinois for issuing toll road photo tickets and collection notices to innocent drivers in her state. Swanson yesterday fired off a 75-page complaint to the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D). Swanson enumerated the problems Minnesotans described when calling her office for help:

  • Citizens were sent tickets for alleged toll violations involving automobiles they had previously sold.
  • Citizens were sent tickets for violations involving automobiles they had not yet purchased at the time of the alleged toll violation.
  • Citizens were threatened by collection agencies that their driver’s license or vehicle registration will be suspended if they do not pay a fine to the collection agency—even in cases where they were not responsible for the alleged infraction.
  • Citizens reported receiving missed-toll tickets even though they have not driven in Illinois. (The latter category is believed to result from errors in visually processing license plate numbers from Tollway photographs.)
  • Swanson found that it was inadequate for Illinois Tollway officials to tell motorists that they could challenge tickets in a hearing process.

    “The problem with this is that many citizens would rather pay the ticket—amounting to hundreds of dollars—than go through the hassle of contesting the matter,” Swanson said. “I hope the Illinois Legislature will address the matter.”

    In light of the issuance of so many tickets to people who did not own the vehicle alleged to have committed violation, Swanson called on Illinois officials to stop sending photo tickets to Minnesota residents until Illinois can certify that its vehicle registration database contains up-to-date, accurate information. She also insisted that Illinois call off the collection agencies threatening Minnesota motorists with license suspensions for failure to pay the bogus citations.

    “It is unfair for the Tollway to place the burden on Minnesota citizens to correct the errors of a faulty system,” Swanson wrote in her letter. “Allowing a citizen to object to an improperly-issued ticket should not be a substitute for ensuring that tickets are properly issued to the correct owner in the first place.”

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    • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 27, 2009

      ttiley, There are two problems. One your evidence is anecdotal, and therefore trumped by mine. EVERYONE I know who has gotten one of these tickets is innocent, and had to go through a nightmare to prove it. (okay it was one person, but it was a nightmare, and the car was never theirs or even like any of theirs) Still, the real problem is that it seems to be a necessity that where these cameras go up, yellows get shortened, and accidents increase. Will we need a manslaughter case to stop this? Maybe a wrongful death suit that transfers all the ticket revenue out of the pol's pockets?

    • Kurt. Kurt. on Apr 27, 2009

      Start the chant... If you vote in support of Red Light Cameras, I WILL NOT VOTE FOR YOU. I will vote for the MN AG if she wants to relocate to Florida though!

    • ToolGuy Cool.
    • ToolGuy Cool.
    • TheEndlessEnigma In 2022 I put my college (then 21 year old) daughter into a 2022 Mirage SE, this year I put my college age 21 year old son into a 2023 Kia Soul LX. They are both very happy to have and both very happy with their vehicles, both are low cost to run and insure.
    • CEastwood If there are 10 laps or less left after a crash and a red flag only let the first ten cars finish the race . I watched the race from about the halfway point and the crashes caused near the end were caused by drivers who had zero to very little chance to finish in the top five .
    • Alan I blame COVID, the chip shortage, container shortage and the war in Ukraine. This aggression is evident in normal daily driving of late.