How to Easily Obtain Traffic Camera Footage or Police Reports

If you’ve ever needed to obtain important documents from the government, you know what a headache it can be. Outdated websites, long waiting times on the phone, and confusing forms can make the process seem overwhelming. But fear not! In this article, we’ll provide you with some helpful guidelines on how to easily get your hands on traffic camera footage or police reports.

How to Order Traffic Camera Footage

Types of Traffic Camera Footage

Traffic camera footage capturing accidents or traffic violations can come from various sources, including:

  • Actual traffic cameras like red light cameras or automated speed enforcement cameras.
  • Business surveillance cameras.
  • Dash cameras from police vehicles.
  • Other cameras like witness cellphones or home surveillance systems.

The process of requesting traffic camera video may vary depending on the type of footage that recorded your incident.

How to Obtain Red Light Camera Footage in Chicago

Have you ever wondered if a red light camera captured your violation at an intersection? Instead of waiting for a ticket in the mail, you can check online. The Chicago Parking and Red Light Administration website allows you to search for parking tickets, view photos, watch speed videos or red light videos, and even contest a ticket. Once you have a ticket in hand, you can log in at using your ticket number and license plate number to access the footage from red light cameras.

How to Access Speed Traffic Camera Footage in Chicago

To view photos, videos, and the speed of alleged violations captured by speed traffic cameras in Chicago, visit Make sure you have your ticket number and license plate number ready.

How Long is Traffic Camera Footage Stored?

Footage from constantly monitored intersections with cameras is available for 30 days. However, alleged violations caught on red light or speed cameras can be viewed for up to two years. Remember, you have a limited time to contest a ticket, so act swiftly.

Obtaining Other Types of Car Accident Footage

If you need video footage from other sources, such as business surveillance cameras, home surveillance cameras, or police dash cameras, it may be best to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. They will act fast to ensure any potential footage is saved and preserved as evidence in your favor. An attorney can guide you through the following steps:


Determine the type of camera footage you need to obtain:

  • Is it a traffic camera? In that case, the municipality controls the footage.
  • Is it police dash camera footage? If so, the police agency controls the footage.
  • Is it private surveillance camera footage? Then the business or homeowner controls the surveillance camera footage.


Contact the person, business, or municipality to confirm whether potential footage exists.

Give Notice

Send a written document, often called a “Spoliation Letter,” demanding that the footage be preserved and saved. The letter should specify the date, approximate time, location, and language requesting the preservation of the video. It’s essential to send the letter via certified mail to confirm receipt.

Confirm Again

Contact the person, business, or entity to ensure they received the Spoliation Letter and are preserving the footage.

Need a Subpoena for Traffic Camera Footage?

If a subpoena is required to release any video footage, it’s advisable to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. The Kryder Law Group provides free consultations and can help you obtain relevant footage from traffic cameras for your case.

How to Order a Police Report

What’s in a Police Report?

A police report is the first document created following a motor vehicle accident. It provides a detailed account of the accident, including the names, addresses, and contact information of drivers and witnesses. The report also notes points of contact on the vehicles, weather conditions, and any tickets issued at the scene.

Why Do You Need a Copy of the Police Report?

Having a copy of the police report is crucial for your accident claim. You may need it to:

  • Assist your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company in evaluating the case.
  • Provide information to the hospital to assess the severity of your injuries.
  • Help your attorney notify the proper insurance companies about your personal injury and/or property damage claim.
  • Assist your attorney in drafting the complaint for your lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

What Do You Need to Get a Police Report?

Before requesting a police report, ensure you have the following information:

  • The date of the crash.
  • The other driver’s first and last name.
  • The intersection or location where the crash occurred.

Alternatively, if you have an RD number, you can provide that to the responsible agency.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Police Report?

Typically, it takes a few business days for a police report to be completed and made available to the public. Attempting to obtain a report before it’s in the system will only lead to frustration.

How to Request a Police Report?

Different agencies handle report requests differently. If you were involved in an accident investigated by the Chicago Police Department, you can obtain a police report in two ways:

  1. In-person request: Visit the Central Police Headquarters located at 3510 S. Michigan, 1st Floor, Room 1043 in Chicago, Illinois. Make sure you have all the necessary information mentioned earlier.
  2. Mail request: Mail your request to the Chicago Police Department, Attention Records Inquiry and Customer Service Section, Unit 163, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check or money order made payable to the “Department of Revenue, City of Chicago.”

What’s the Cost of Ordering a Police Report in Chicago?

The cost for obtaining a police report in Chicago is as follows:

  • .50 cents for each copy of the case report.
  • $5.00 for each copy of the traffic crash report.
  • $20.00 for reports generated by an accident reconstruction officer or their team.

How to Request a Police Report Infographic

Obtaining traffic camera footage or a police report doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to accessing the information you need. Remember, if you have any specific legal questions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the process.