CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers caught going 6 to 9 mph over the speed limit by the city’s automated speed cameras will begin getting $35 tickets in the mail in March, after a 44-day warning period starts in less than two weeks.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the city will begin issuing warnings to drivers violating the lower speed camera threshold on Jan. 15. Starting March 1, the city will start issuing $35 tickets.
Even after the 44-day grace period is over, drivers who haven’t received a speed camera ticket before will get one more warning. However, anyone who has received a speed camera ticket since 2013 won’t get any additional warnings after March 1.
The city already has been issuing tickets for years for drivers caught on speed camera going 10 mph or more over the limit. Drivers who are caught going 10 mph over the limit face $35 tickets, while those going 11 mph or more over the limit face $100 tickets.
While the city has been authorized for years to issue speed camera tickets to motorists caught going 6 mph to 9 mph over the limit, that lower threshold hasn’t been enforced until Mayor Lori Lightfoot convinced aldermen to approve the new rules as part of her 2021 budget plan.
The general speed limit on city streets is 30 mph unless otherwise posted. The city has installed dozens of cameras near schools and public parks, although many of those located near schools were disabled earlier this year because schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A map of the City’s speed cameras and Children’s Safety Zones can be found at https://webapps1.chicago.gov/traffic/.
City officials said, while there were fewer drivers on the roads in 2020 due to the pandemic, cars were going 8% faster on average than in 2019, and traffic deaths through the end of November were up 35% compared to the same time period in 2019. A spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation said there were 120 traffic deaths through the end of November 2020, compared to 89 during the same time in 2019.
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