An extensive investigation has reportedly made the shocking discovery that as many as 110,000 unjust speeding tickets have been issued in Chicago over the past two years. The tickets collectively total more than $2.4 million, and they were issued because of a speed camera program that was originally designed to keep children safe when playing in nearby parks and schools.
Chicago has systematically ticketed suspected offenders driving too fast in areas frequented by children. However, being properly cited for causing danger to children by going over the speed limit in a designated area requires that there be a child in visible sight. The cameras sent out tickets without actually making sure that children were really present.
Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel started the “Children’s Safety Zone” program two years ago as a way to protect young people who were walking nearby schools and parks. However, the cameras that nabbed the most alleged offenders were located on major roads where children were less likely to be struck by speeders.
Additionally, reports indicate that the speed program of Mayor Emanuel issued more than 22,000 for speeding in areas near parks and not actually around the parks themselves. Furthermore, more than 11,000 tickets were issued for drivers speeding through parks that were closed for the night, a time when children are not supposed to be present.
Additionally, more than 28,000 citations were issued by cameras that featured warning signs that were not compliant with legal standards. Making matters more troubling is that more than 62,000 tickets for speeding in school zones were given out during the summer when school is not normally in session.
As of now, the city plans to refund payments that were made on at least 23,000 tickets. The investigation into the speed camera program began a year after it was discovered that at least 13,000 drivers in Chicago had been issued unjust tickets because of broken red light cameras.