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News / City Life

More than 1.2 million could see refunds in red light camera settlement

Red light camera
Photograph: CC/Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

Big news for those still following the city's prolonged red light camera debacle: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has agreed that Chicago will fork over a $38.75 million settlement in the 2015 class-action lawsuit alleging that the city didn't give proper notice to some drivers who received violations between 2010 and 2015, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

Prior to 2015, the city of Chicago wasn't sending out a legally required second notice of violation for red light camera tickets, though the city did change the city ordinance in 2015 to negate the need for a second notice before determination of guilt. The settlement seems to be an admission that, even though the city retroactively changed the rules, individuals who did not receive a second red light ticket notice were wronged.

It's a sizable deal that could result in partial cash refunds for more than 1.2 million drivers. The Tribune reports that those who are eligible for a refund will be notified by mail in the coming months. According to the Sun-Times, the city “also has agreed not to use any of the 1.5 million tickets issued over a five-year period in suspending driver’s license or booting vehicles.”

The city—and taxpayers—got a break on a settlement that could have totaled $200 million, according to the Sun-Times, but the plaintiffs’ attorney said they wanted to avoid dragging out the epic court battle. 

If you think you might be eligible for a partial cash refund (half of what you paid out), keep an eye on your mailbox over the next couple of months. 

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