According to a report in yesterday's Chicago Sun Times, the City Council issued 345,206 sweeper tickets in 2006. At $50 a pop. And despite the fact that Chicago is fast becoming the most surveillance-intensive city in the U.S., initiating a camera-fest to rival London's Big Brotherhood, the Council has approved plans to install cameras to automatically ticket parking scofflaws. "Every sweeper would be equipped with a pair of cameras — one to capture the image of the “illegally parked vehicle and its surroundings,” the other to take a clear picture of the license plate. Video evidence would be forwarded to the city’s Department of Revenue daily, then mailed to motorists along with the $50 tickets." Strangely, the paper's City Hall reporter seems as fixated on the presence of paper warning signs as the Council, rather than examining the civil rights issues involved. Anyway, Traffic Committee Chairman Pat O’Connor (40th) swears to God it's got nothing to do with raising more money for the City. "I truly don’t look at it so much as a revenue things as much as it will make people move their cars."
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