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Friday, July 18, 2014

Law - In Chicago, "Red light cameras tag thousands for undeserved tickets"

David Kidwell and Alex Richards of the Chicago Tribune have a very long story today that begins:

Thousands of Chicago drivers have been tagged with $100 red light fines they did not deserve, targeted by robotic cameras during a series of sudden spikes in tickets that city officials say they cannot explain, a Tribune investigation has found.

The Tribune's analysis of more than 4 million tickets issued since 2007 and a deeper probe of individual cases revealed clear evidence that the deviations in Chicago's network of 380 cameras were caused by faulty equipment, human tinkering or both.

Chicago transportation officials say they had no knowledge of the wild swings in ticketing until they were told by the Tribune — even though City Hall legally required the camera vendor to watch for the slightest anomaly in ticketing patterns every day. Many of the spikes lasted weeks.

The lack of oversight raises new questions about the controversial traffic enforcement program, the largest in the country, now embroiled in a federal corruption probe into allegations that the city's longtime red light camera manager took bribes from the camera company.

"Something is terribly amiss here," said Joseph Schofer, an associate dean at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who reviewed the Tribune's research.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 18, 2014 11:13 AM
Posted to General Law Related