Chicago’s Traffic Lights Issued $2.4 Million in Fake Tickets

There's an ill wind blowing in the 'Windy City.'

Just about all of us in the PRNewserverse have zoomed through a traffic speeding light en route (late) to a client meeting and checked the rear view mirror to make sure that blinding light doesn’t shoot our plate.

Because if that happened, a $75 fine is coming to your mailbox.

Blame the clients and their, you know, deadlines.

If you live in Chicago, that light may blink much more often than you would like. Apparently, you don’t even have to be near the intersection and still may get a ticket.

The Chicago Tribune did an exhaustive — and very juicy — investigative report about the sundry traffic cam and what the publication uncovered over a six-month period is staggering. Their efforts uncovered approximately 110,000 improperly issued tickets costing taxpayers more than $2.4 million!

The campaign led by Captain Potty Mouth and Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was supposed to crack down on speeding in school zones. Only one thing — while the tickets were being issued, the cameras had nothing to do with school zones.

At the same time, City Hall has systematically 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.

And while it was pitched by the mayor as a way to protect youngsters walking near parks and schools, the most prolific cameras in the 2-year-old “Children’s Safety Zone” initiative can be found along major roadways, where crash data show child pedestrians are least likely to be struck by speeders.

This could sting a little in #PRFail points. Mayor, you have some splainin’ to do:

“We always got to be pretty vigilant in…the operation of it, but the fact of the matter is, it is achieving the goal of bringing safety in and around our parks and schools and the data is clear about that,” Emanuel said. “Where…the system has made a mistake, people get their checks back and we have a process to handle that.”

This is a municipality. And that process? Yeah, it could take a while. May want to take the train.

[OTHER SOURCE: Chicago CBS Local]