City Making Big Bucks off Cellphone Tickets

Chicago is making big money off of tickets issued to drivers caught using a cellphone behind the wheel.

More than 23,000 such tickets were issued last year, bringing in about $2.2 million for the city, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday. The number of tickets issued is a 73 percent increase from 2006, the first full year that the city's cellphone law went into effect.

Additionally, more of the money from the fines paid goes directly to the city, rather than being shared with the county and state, due to a tweak of the ordinance in 2008.

Chicago has always been a step ahead of the state in dealing with drivers using cellphone. It banned talking on a phone without a hands-free device in 2005, during then-Mayor Richard Daley's administration.

Three years later, Chicago banned texting while driving. A state ban on the practice to effect Jan. 1 of this year.

In September, Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th) proposed extending a ban on cellphone to bicyclists in the city.

Governors Highway Safety Association: Cellphone, Texting Laws

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