Chicago Street Sweeper Surveillance to Boost Revenue BEYOND $17,260,300

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chicago street sweeper surveillance to boost revenue beyond 17 260 300

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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  • Abcb Abcb on Jul 25, 2008

    Robstar: There are 6 valid defenses for red light violation. defense #4 The facts alleged in the violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that Section 9-8-020(c) or Section 9-16-030(c) was violated; Chicago Muni Code section 9-8-020(c) basically deals with running a red light, 9-8-030(c) deal with flashing signals. So if your defense is that the fact alleged in the violation does not support a finding of running a red light, it's a valid defense. I am not sure which lawyer you been talking to, either need to fire him or report him to the IL bar for bad advice. Any competent law student could've figure this issue out. I'll also add that for the years I lived in Gold Coast. Parking is a bitch, but if you are in the city, just get rid of the car. Buy a mopad, bike, take public transportation, anything but the car. At my location, parking was at painfully $250 a month for outdoor uncovered parking and $300 a month for indoor heated parking. Factoring insurance and permit costs, I can probably take taxi everywhere and still spend less a month to keep a car in the city. As for the camera, I welcome our camera overlord. It has made the city so much safer. Anyone ever try walking west on division from gold coast to wicker park after midnight? Used to be cops allow cars to blow stop signs because that area is notorious for crimes. Now, 24/7 camera, safe neighbor.

  • R H R H on Jul 25, 2008

    abcb> Sorry, but the lawyer I talked to had been doing traffic courts for 20+ years and red light camera violations since they were introduced. Excuse me if I take his opinion over yours. Are you a lawyer? And if so, how much traffic court/red light violations you have done? You have to realize that it is an ADMINISTRATIVE judge, not a real judge. It's point & click law. Chicago used to be a wonderful city. I remember being able to catch the bus/train at roughly the same time to go to school every day. It is currently in an almost unusable state. They really should raise the fare to $5-$6 (still a deal compared to driving with $4 gas, car expenes, and parking) and rebuild everything with the extra fare money. They should quit already with the extra taxes, begging in springfield, etc. I'd support a chicago area gas tax to fund chicago transport. At this point, I will have one year left in Chitown, and then it is off to the far suburbs and commuting daily. I actually look forward to having my own place, having my own garage, etc. Every job I've worked in the past 6-7 years I've had a flexible schedule. I can get to work anytime between 6:00-10am so can avoid rush hour. There is no reason for me to really live in the city anymore. It really offers nothing since my wife & I are homebodies. Traffic cameras, automated cameras, and 10.25% sales tax are the final straw. Enjoy your high taxes, expensive property, red light cameras, higher crime rates, lack of a garage, crappy schools, etc. I will be enjoying cheap housing, large garage, less criminals, but pay for it with gas/vehicle expenses and probably higher property taxes. A pretty good deal IMHO.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 25, 2008
    There are only like 6 valid defenses LISTED ON THE TICKET ITSELF. Anything else is immediately thrown out. I don’t think you live in Chicago. I got this advice from someone practicing Traffic Court law in Chicago.... Go to court anyway. This way the city has to spend money to hear your case. I received a speeding ticket that had surcharges on it, in addition to the actual violation. I went to court, the cop did show up, and I managed to waste 20 minutes of the court's time. I was the last case and walked down the hall with the cop that issued the ticket. He asked me why I bothered to come to court if in the end I knew I was going to be found guilty. I told him that between the payroll for the judge, for the cop, plus the time and energy spent to operate the court facilities, the state lost way more than the value of the ticket. So, for me, it was a bit of a victory anyway. The cop laughed and said that if more people acted like me, he would get way more court overtime...

  • Abcb Abcb on Jul 26, 2008

    Robstar: 1. Traffic contests are heard by Administrative Law Officer, who are actual attorneys the city hire to oversee small matter such as traffic and small claim. They are not point and click people. They are actual attorney licensed in the state of IL to practice Law. They have to remain objective and fair when ruling on your case. If they don't, they can lose their license to practice law. If you felt you got an unfair trial, you can even appeal your case to a trial court where a full time judge will review your case. This whole process is very professional, it's not like the city pulled some random guy off the street who will always rule for the city of chicago. 2. In your original post, you stated that you got "ticketed for “going through a red” while the photo shows the light yellow". Now unless there are other factors that you have not shared with rest of us, the above seem to be a clear case of you not running a red light. I don't think you even need a law degrees to follow that logic. 3. Looking back on your original post, the lawyer suggested not fighting the ticket because it's not worth your time for $90 and no point. He never said you can't win this ticket against the city of chicago, he also didn't say that it wouldn't be a valid defense. I am only arguing that based on the city codes, it's a valid defense. For all I know, you may have circumstances where it is not worth the $90 to contest this no point ticket.