Nix All Blizzard Tickets?

UPDATE: The city has responded, saying it will not issue tickets for red-light violations that might have occurred during the blizzard, between 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

In the wake of last week's blizzard, the city of Chicago offered free towing for cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive and citywide parking meter amnesty.

But Ald. Bernard Stone wants the city to take it one step further. He says the city should disregard tickets for red light camera offenses during the storm.

"The blizzard seriously hampered safe driving conditions throughout the city, and in most cases stopping for a red light could have possibly caused an accident," Stone said in a letter to Department of Revenue Director Bea Reyna-Hickey. "In situations such as this, it is inequitable to issue tickets."

The 50th Ward Alderman, who is running for re-election in a hotly contested battle, says motorists not only shouldn't pay them, but the city should rescind them altogether. 

The city agreed, saying it will not issue tickets for violations that may have occurred during the blizzard. It also will closely look at all potential violations from last week and this week.

"Because of the unusual and difficult conditions caused by last week's historic blizzard -- including narrowed turn lanes or unavailable lanes -- we will conduct an even more careful review."

Last week, more than 20 inches of snow fell during Chicago's third worst blizzard on record. Weather conditions led to hundreds of cars being stranded on Lake Shore Drive and hundreds more stuck in drifts on side streets. The city all but shut down on Wednesday, with most businesses closed, roads shut down and all schools on hiatus.

Parking meter amnesty ended at 9 a.m. Monday in the central business district and 9 a.m. Tuesday for the rest of the city.

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