Chicago’s new approach to catching speeding drivers has resulted in hundreds of thousands of tickets worth $871,035 in fines in just the first five weeks of operation.
That is a more than a 1,000% increase in tickets issued compared to the same time last year, according to a CBS Chicago investigation. There were about 35,780 tickets issued in the five weeks prior to the speed camera change.
In March 2021, the threshold for some of the city’s speed cameras was dropped from 10 mph over the speed limit to 6 mph. Cameras were readjusted mostly in “Children’s Safety Zones” near parks and schools.
In all, 68 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras have been adjusted across Chicago.
City officials say that the change was necessary to combat a spike in fatal and serious injury-causing car accidents. About 45% more people died in Chicago as a result of fatal car accidents in 2020 when compared to 2019, and speeding was a major factor in far too many of those deadly crashes. It’s worth noting that the faster a vehicle is moving, the greater the injuries and risk of death.
To illustrate this point, the mayor’s office issued a reminder. The odds of a pedestrian getting hit by a car and surviving are 90% if the vehicle is traveling at 20 mph. The odds of surviving death or serious injury drop to 50% if the car is driving 30 mph. And there’s only a 10% chance of survival if the car is going 40 mph at the time of impact.
Chicago’s targeted speed limit enforcement
The threshold change led to more tickets being issued in some neighborhoods than others. The places where the most tickets were issued in the first 5 weeks of the change include:
- Washington Park at East Morgan Driver — 21,953 tickets issued for a total of $40,160 in fines
- Ashmore Park at West Lawrence Avenue — 17,481 tickets, $38,950 in fines
- Ashmore Park at North Cicero Avenue — 15,672, $37,225
- Major Taylor Bike Park at West 127th Street — 13,588, $26,680
- Gompers Park at West Foster — 12,778, $22,730
- Humboldt Park at North Humboldt — 20,360, $10,854
Cameras were also adjusted near Chicago schools, including:
- St. Rita High School
- St. Genevieve School
- St. Gall Elementary
- Sauganash School
- Pickard School
- North Montessori School
- Lorca School
- Lane Tech School
- Harvard Elementary School
- Frazier Magnet School
- Frances Xavier School
- Dulles Elementary School
- Christopher School
- Chicago Ag School
- Charles Prosser School
- Burr School
- Burley Elementary School
- Bogan High School
Injured crash victims have recourse under the law
Car accidents happen all the time in Chicago. In 2018, nearly 99,000 car accidents occurred in the city — 121 of them were fatal. The most common type of accident is a rear-end collision, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, and speeding is one of the primary contributors to this type of crash.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident caused by someone who was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly, you have the right to pursue fair and full compensation for your accident-related expenses.
See what our experienced car accident lawyers can do for your injury claim, and contact us today for a free consultation.