Mayor Lightfoot is doing everything in her power to make sure she will not serve a second term as Chicago's Mayor.
ChicagoTribune - As the city prepares to start ticketing drivers in Chicago going as little as 6 mph over the posted speed limit, warnings mailed to people caught exceeding the new threshold show the change promises to be hugely lucrative for the city and a significant burden for residents already struggling to pay fines.
That's right. Starting today, March 1st, if you get caught on one of the nearly 100 speed cameras in Chicago going 6-9 MPH over the limit, you will be sent a $35 dollar fine. No warnings, they've been sending them out since January. You get caught, you get fined. If you're caught going 11 MPH over the limit the fine is $100.
Now it's pretty easy to say, "Don't speed. Don't get fined." They're absolutely right. (Assuming that the cameras are properly calibrated and don't catch people that actually aren't speeding, which is a pretty huge assumption.) But who among us have never absently minded gone 36 in a 30? Or heaven forbid you accidentally hit 46 in a 35, that's 100 bucks!
11 MPH over the limit and you get hit with a hundred dollar fine. No explaining yourself. No personal decision-making by a police officer. Just a naked cash grab. And that's exactly what this is.
Mayor Lightfoot has defended the decision, saying that it is being enforced as a matter of safety, but anyone that has followed Chicago politics for more than 2 weeks knows this is about the money.
The Tribune ran some numbers. In just the first week of issuing warnings, the city sent out over 52,000 of them, that if they happened today would all be $35 fines. If you extrapolate that over an entire year, that works out to be approximately an extra $100 million for the city.
This conveniently comes at a time when the city of Chicago is looking to close a $1.2 billion deficit. Coincidence? Absolutely not.
If I can recommend one thing for traveling into the city, use public transportation. The Metra runs right into downtown and there are no speed cameras for "your safety."