Chicago`s new speed cameras clock 2222K citations - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Chicago`s new speed cameras clock 222K citations

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago's new speed cameras have clocked almost 222,000 violations in just over a month.

Since late August, the Chicago Department of Transportation has been testing nine speed cameras at four parks around the city.

For now, speeders have been getting only warnings in the mail, but starting next week, they'll get tickets, with fines ranging from $35 to $100 depending on how fast over the limit they were going.

The nine test cameras caught more than 222,000 vehicles speeding in just the first 45 days of the test, which would have generated about $13.3 million in fines. Those numbers suggest revenue generated by the speed cameras will be much more than predicted.

And, the number of speed cameras is about to explode. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pledged to install 50 cameras around schools and parks by the end of the year and as many as 300 by next year.

The mayor has insisted it's about slowing down drivers and saving lives, not making money.

"We're going to be rolling those out in our parks, in our schools, in the same way, to protect our children to act as a deterrent for people who are speeding," Emanuel said.

But Chicagoans we talked to say the staggering number of warnings issued makes the speed camera program feel like a cash grab.

"I just think something crooked is going on," one man told FOX 32. "We pay enough in taxes for everything else. It's just ridiculous."

"It just feels a little big brothery. I think there's gotta be a better way to get revenue," said another.

The city had predicted the speed cameras will generate between $40 and $60 million in new revenue next year, but based on the early test results, it looks like that's an extremely low estimate. And some aldermen at City Hall are worried about a political backlash.

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