The Chicago City Council approved a settlement of a lawsuit over red light and speed cameras in the city, and dispersal of the nearly $40 million in money will begin soon.
The lawsuit, which was settled earlier this month, claimed that residents who received tickets were denied “due process” because of the program’s rules, but just how much money people will get as restitution for the alleged violations will depend on how many people apply.
“The law department informs us that the average refund will be $42,” 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke said.
That figure is accurate if 25 percent of the motorists eligible for refunds apply for them. If the number of claims ends up being higher, then the dollar amount each resident would receive could decline substantially.
“A whopping $7. Now if the county has their way, that might get you a two-liter,” 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale joked.
Even with the widely varying numbers being thrown around in council chambers, residents who received tickets through the program are still looking forward to getting some restitution for their bills.
“I have a ticket in my hand, but I am looking to get money back, and I think it will happen,” Brother Hall said.
After Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, he fired Redflex, the original vendor in charge of the program. Even still, some aldermen don’t think that was enough, and they want more changes to the red light and speed camera systems in the city.
“I think we have to look at how we make cameras fair and equitable across the city of Chicago,” 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez said.
For residents wondering when they will get their money, the city of Chicago has records of everyone that has received tickets, and they will communicate with those motorists via mail to start up the process.