CHICAGO’S NEW SPEED ENFORCEMENT RULES: REVENUE FOR THE CITY AND BURDEN FOR THE PEOPLE

Implementation and enforcement of traffic laws and rules help ensure safety on the road. However, it is not acceptable when a local government entity uses rules to impose unreasonable burden on the people. The city of Chicago’s new speed camera enforcement rules that lowered the speed at which a driver can be issued a traffic ticket resulted in a massive number of citations.

Back in March, the city of Chicago enacted a new speeding rule – a driver going at 6 miles per hour over the speed limit, and detected by a speed camera, can be given a traffic citation. Previously the threshold for speed camera tickets was 10 miles per hour over the limit.

Under the new rules, speeding between 6 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit results in a $35 ticket and going at 11 miles per hour over the limit leads to a $100 fine.

Traffic laws must be respected and followed. But lawmakers must also understand that any new law or rule should not create excessive hardship for the people.

Following the implementation of the rules earlier this year, over one million tickets have been issued in the first four months of enforcement, which is more than double the number of citations issued during the same period in 2020.

Furthermore, there are also concerns about the accuracy of speed camera signs. It has been reported that various errors on speed camera signs resulted in people getting citations that they did not deserve.

The city of Chicago’s financial health is extremely poor. For 2021, the budget deficit amounted to $1.2 billion. For 2022, the deficit is projected to be at $733 million. It is obvious that the city needs to address its financial struggles. Reportedly, under the new speed camera enforcement system, more than $11 million in fines have been generated. Issuing traffic tickets using burdensome rules should not be a way to raise money.

To achieve fiscal stability, the city should ensure that taxpayer funds are managed well and that inefficiencies in government are reduced. Handing out a massive number of traffic tickets by setting a very restrictive speed limit and catching drivers using speed cameras must not be a method of generating revenue.

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