City to review 9,000 questionable red light tickets

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The City of Chicago will review more than 9,000 red light camera tickets after a Chicago Tribune investigation found a suspicious spike in the number of tickets issues.

The Tribune found about 13,000 questionable tickets during their 10 month investigation but the city says of those only 9,000 were actually sent to people.  And even if they’ve paid the tickets they will get another shot at appealing that $100 dollar tickets.

The Tribune interviewed experts who said malfunctioning cameras or camera tampering could be to blame. The city says other events or construction could have influenced the spikes. But the tribune found that not to be the case.  Either way, the city is taking steps to look into the red light camera program.

They will work with inspector general to examine how the cameras are managed. The city will also mail out letters to the 9,000 people identified during the spike to have their tickets reviewed again.

Additionally, the city plans to start posting the daily violations on each red light camera location to give people a little more transparency about them.

  • RELATED: Aldermen call for possible red light ticket refunds



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  • Patrick Keating

    I have litigated a number of red light camera violations in Chicago’s Department of Administrative Hearings. In my experience that system of adjudication presents a superficial veneer of “due process of law” in red light cases, but seldom provides the real thing. The conventional wisdom is that contesting hearings by mail is seldom effective. In order to maximize the chances of success, the average victim will need to take a half-day or more off or work or other responsibilities and navigate an unfamiliar bureaucratic system in order for the chance of a $100 refund. I have presented hearing officers with irrefutable evidence of yellow light durations under the legal minimum of 3.0 seconds. I have repeatedly been denied the opportunity to cross examine the city “technicians” who “certify” the correctness of over a thousand citation a day. None of it matters, and if a motorist wishes to have appeal the city-paid hearing officer’s determination to an actual court, the filing fees alone will exceed the value of the ticket, an option the U.S. Court of Appeals has previously called an “illusory remedy.”

    If the spikes are because of drastically tightened enforcement standards, say for rolling right turns on red, during the spike periods, that evidence will be irrelevant in the City hearing, as it is not one of the few “approved” defenses in the City ordinance. Most ticket recipients will likely lose their hearings; even the slowest most cautious “roll” through an intersection is a technical violation of the law. Subjecting motorists to the vagaries of the City’s enforcement a second time is no solution to this problem.

  • Ismael

    I have paid two tickets so far. In a crooked system it is better to pay than wasting half a day in court. These cameras are money makers for the city and the judges or hearing officers are in the fix. It will take a miracle to win a case against these crooks.THESE FILTHY CROOKED POLITICIANS SAID IT WAS FOR OUR SAFETY. It was more like out of our pockets into theirs.

  • Andy

    I find that the new type of cameras installed are high speed cameras like that are deployed in swimming competition which operate on mili seconds i.e.1000 th of a second resolution. With our human eyes, when we have moved ahead in yellow light, the camera may issue red light violation ticket. This is a clear cheating of the public. The cameras installed should be equivalent to human eye resolution and not swimming competition type.

  • Martin

    i agree with Ismael. Well with everyone, but the “safety” excuse they use for these cameras absolutely kills me. They’re doing the same thing with speed cameras “for the safety of our children” so why not use the money from tickets to fund schools and programs for kids?! Also why not just install SPEED BUMPS?! I think speed bumps are much more effective at getting a vehicle to slow down than some speed camera in a not-so-cospicuous spot. How stupid do they think people are??!

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