Chicago City Council

Lightfoot Blasts Aldermen After Vote on Raising Thresholds for Speed Cameras

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was delivered a rebuke by the City Council on Tuesday, as the finance committee narrowly voted to repeal a tightened-ordinance that allowed for drivers to be fined if they were captured going 6-to-9 miles per hour above the speed limit.

That ordinance, which allowed drivers to be assessed a $35 ticket if they were driving between 6-to-9 mph over the limit, took another step toward being changed on Tuesday by a 16-15 vote by the committee, sending it to the full City Council for a vote on Wednesday.

The new measure would leave a $100 citation for going 10 or more miles per hour over the limit, according to officials.

Lightfoot, who spoke out harshly against the measure on Tuesday, blasted lawmakers who voted in favor of repealing the ordinance.

“The City Council Committee on Finance voted to sanction higher speeds around schools and parks when it seems that every day that there is another traffic fatality because of speeding and reckless driving,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “It is simply unconscionable that, after losing 173 Chicagoans to speed-related traffic fatalities in 2021, some Aldermen are acting with so little regard for public safety.”

Lightfoot said that the fines generated by the cameras help pay for infrastructure, after-school programming and other budget items.

According to data from Block Club Chicago, Chicago speed cameras issued 2.3 million tickets in the first 10 months of 2021 after the change was made, nearly as many as they had issued in the previous three years combined.

Note: An earlier version of this story indicated that the change would only apply to school zone cameras, but it will apply to all speed cameras in the city.

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