Chicago’s new speed cameras have begun issuing automatic tickets to drivers.
At 6 a.m., the speed cameras along Foster Avenue near Gompers Park on the Northwest Side started issuing tickets for drivers going 10 or more miles an hour over the posted speed limit.
Those fines start at $35.
The city plans to gradually lower the speeding threshold to just six miles over the speed limit.
City officials say it is all about safety. Since the speed cameras were installed in August, the numbers coming out of them have been shocking.
“When we gave out warnings the first 30 days we had over 200 people doing 60 in 30 mile per hour zones,” Chicago Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein told reporters today. “We clocked one person going 90 miles an hour.”
“If you’re going about 25-30 miles per hour and you hit a pedestrian or a cyclist there’s a good chance that person is going to survive,” said Ron Burke of the Active Transportation Alliance. “If you’re going about 40 or more there’s a very good chance that person will not survive — in fact, they’re not likely to.”
Right now there are nine safety zones across the city operating speed cameras but the safety zone at Gompers Park is the only one issuing tickets. The other eight will start doing so over the coming weeks.
Commissioner Klein says the ultimate goal is to have 50 safety zones operating cameras by next August.
And he says the real goal is to have zero traffic fatalities in ten years.