Automated traffic enforcement cameras have improperly issued more than $2.4 million in fines to Chicago drivers, ticketing them when cameras were supposed to be off and when the required warning signs were confusing, obscured or missing, reports the city’s Tribune. At the same time, the system has ticketed drivers near schools without the legally required evidence of a schoolchild in sight. A Tribune random-sample analysis puts the number of those questionable tickets at about 110,000.
Since the newspaper began asking city officials about the program in July, the administration has altered guidelines for ticketing and begun to vacate nearly $1 million in tickets and issue refunds for 23,000 tickets. The paper found that some 22,000 tickets were sent to owners of cars tagged by cameras near parks that were closed for construction; that 11,000 tickets were issued after parks were closed for the night; that 28,000 tickets were issued at cameras plagued by problems with warning signs that did not meet the minimum legal requirements, and that 62,000 school zone tickets were issued over summer months when school activity was limited.