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Chicago speed cameras clock 205,000 citations in 39 days

7:43 PM, Oct 12, 2013   |    comments
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October 11, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago's new speed cameras have clocked almost 205,000 violations in just over a month.

An analysis shows the cameras in nine safety zones logged the speeding violations between Aug. 26 and Oct. 3.

The cameras are only issuing warnings to drivers, but fines will be levied starting later this month. If the violations had been tickets, they could have generated nearly $13.9 million for the city in just 39 days.

That's on pace to be well above the $40 million to $60 million in extra revenue forecast by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for next year.
But the larger-than-expected number of citations is prompting criticism from some who say the cameras are more about making money for the city than protecting children and pedestrians.

The city says revenue generated by the program will be invested in safety initiatives, including after school programs; anti-violence and jobs programs; crossing guards and police officers around schools; and infrastructure improvements, such as signs, crosswalk markings and other traffic safety improvements.

The first speed cameras installed near Gompers Park in the Mayfair neighborhood on the North Side were activated and began to produce warnings to speeding drivers in late August. The Chicago Department of Transportation had previously announced 12 of the 50 sites. Cameras already installed at McKinley, Marquette and Garfield Parks were activated in early September.

The city says the cameras will only issue warnings for the first 30 days after they're installed. The city also says each motorist will get one free warning the first time they would incur a ticket.


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