Tag Archives: Chicago red light camera tickets
With just a few days left for Chicagoans to take advantage of the city’s Debt Relief Program, the city is on pace to pocket several million bucks and retire tens of thousands of old parking and red light camera tickets.
The amnesty, which began Nov. 15, ends on Dec. 31 and allows for those with past due debt of any kind, including water bills, administrative fines for municipal violations like building code and business license violations, parking and red light tickets to pay off the unpaid violations at the original amount.
However, only debt incurred prior to 2012 is eligible for the amnesty.
The six-week program allows scofflaws to pay the initial fine or debt amount, without any taxes, administrative fines, penalties, interest and collection costs tacked on in the subsequent years.
As an example, a parking ticket fine which has doubled due to non-payment and then interest and collection fees tacked on over the years, will be reduced to the original amount of the fine.
Vehicle owners already on a payment plan are not eligible for fee and fine discounts. In addition any tow fees, boot fees, storage fees, administrative fees or court costs cannot be discounted.
Chicagoans with older unpaid parking tickets, red light camera tickets and administrative hearing fines can finally catch a break on late fees and fines starting Sunday.
Facing a giant budget deficit and showing over $1.5 billion in unpaid fines from parking, red light tickets and fines for administrative citations like building code violations and drinking in public, Mayor Rahm Emanuel finally relented to calls for an amnesty program during recent budget hearings. The last amnesty was in early 2009 when Richard M. Daley was still in office.
From November 15 through December 31, the city will waive all taxes, administrative fines, penalties, interest and collection costs accrued on tickets issued before 2012.
For example, a parking ticket fine which has doubled and had interest and collection fees tacked on over the years, will be reduced to the original fine amount. With the way fees and fines add up, many people will see up to a 50 percent reduction in the amount of money they owe the city on longstanding tickets.
Unfortunately, only violations or fines from before December 31st, 2011 are eligible for the amnesty, and it only works if you pay it off in this six-week period.
Department of Finance spokesperson Molly Poppe explained that in the previous three amnesty programs, the most recent three to four years of tickets and fines were ineligible as well.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
WGN TV focused their news cameras on Chicago’s parking debt crisis Tuesday, a story The Expired Meter broke several months ago.
Drivers owe the City of Chicago over $1.3 billion in unpaid parking tickets. When you add over $250 million in unpaid red light camera and speed camera tickets the totals top off at over $1.5 billion.
The worse news is that debt has been growing on average of $1 million a week since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.
From when he first took office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken a hard line
on recovering money owed to the city — particularly when it comes to parking ticket
scofflaws or those who rack up red-light or speed camera tickets.
But under his administration, the amount of unpaid tickets and fines have continued
to grow — to a staggering $1.5 billion, according to data obtained through a Freedom
of Information Act request by The Expired Meter. It accrues at a pace of $1 million a
week, documents show, far more than what the city collects from tickets it issues.
The red light camera an Belmont and Lake Shore Drive is one of the city’s highest volume RLC intersections.
A combination of poor traffic engineering, a confusing multi-street intersection and an allegedly short yellow light, the red light camera there caught over 18,000 violators in 2012 and generated more than $1.5 million in revenue.
So the members of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras thought this was a perfect place to hold a protest to bring their message of ridding the city of red light and speed cameras to motorists Saturday, August 16th.
Demonstrators will be there passing out fliers and holding up signs from 11 AM to 2 PM. Other interested motorists are invited to attend.
Activists against the city’s red-light cameras are accusing the Chicago Police Department of trying to “bully” and “politically intimidate” them during a recent protest at 119th and Halsted streets.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras posted a video online recently which shows a police sergeant calling protesters’ signs blasting the camera program and local politicians “slanderous” and then threatening to arrest at least one demonstrator.
According to group member Scott Davis, about 25 to 30 protesters were standing on the sidewalks at the four corners of the intersection holding signs and passing out fliers opposing red-light and speed cameras last month.
One hand-lettered sign said, “Got Tickets? Blame Austin,” referring to Ald. Carrie Austin, whose 34th Ward is where the intersection is located. Other signs called out Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The group had selected the intersection because it was one of the many with cameras that showed sudden spikes in tickets that the city could not explain, according to a recent Tribune story. The city inspector general is reviewing the findings.
The TV station’s investigative reporting found that drivers of the two vehicles assigned to the mayor received 17 red light camera tickets or speed camera warnings over the past two years.
But this doesn’t bother Illinois News Online columnist Ray Hanania.
Hanania loves Mayor Emanuel and believes since he’s such a busy guy and needs to do be going from one important meeting or appearance to another he and his drivers deserve a pass.
“He’s the mayor. Voters elect him and other mayors to represent them,” says Hanania in his column. “They have to be in 100 places at one time all the time. They have very little private life and time with their families. I say give them a break.”
Local YouTube video producer Chris Sanders has some red light camera and parking ticket problems–about $900 worth of problems.
CBS 2 caught up with the indicted former Chicago Department of Transportation manager John Bills and his attorney outside of federal court Wednesday.
Bills is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems to grease the skids for the company to land and operate the nation’s largest red light camera program.
Here’s CBS 2′s full story, “Former City Official Arrested In Red Light Camera Scandal.“
Since ABC 7 caught Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s motorcade red (light) handed for racking up 17 red light or speed camera violations or warnings, the Mayor’s office has been scrambling to explain this embarrassing, hypocritical and dangerous driving behavior.
But now mayoral spokespeople are changing their tune and, seemingly misrepresenting the law.