The City of Chicago wanted to stop speeding near schools, so they started placing red light cameras near schools and ticketed people who were speeding at the designated school locations and near children. The Chicago Tribune recently wrote
about their investigation into the system and the faults with it.
Initially, people complained the hours went to too late, when no schools were open anymore, and the City gave in and changed the hour restriction. They even took some cameras down. But that apparently didn’t mean that the wrong people were not still ticketed.
It recently came out that these red light cameras issue more than $2.4 million in fines for tickets obtained when the cameras were off, children were not near, or the signs were confusing. The City became aware of this, and while they are advising the cameras have achieved their purpose of stopping accidents in the designated areas, have acknowledged there are people who were wrongfully ticketed.
The problem is that it is hard to challenge these tickets. It can be more expensive to hire a lawyer to fight the ticket or to take a day off of a work to attempt to do it yourself, so many accepted it - but many did not. And now the City has started reimbursing some for wrongfully issued tickets. They are standing by the red light cameras, but it appears they are also starting to accept some fault in the system.
The cameras are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean people have to accept a bad ticket.
The Chicago Tribune and its reporters pushed the issue with the City, and in doing much of their investigation learned so much they created a website where people can go to check to see If their car was wrongly ticketed. You can search at the following website by placing your license plate into the search queue: