By on December 30, 2015


A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered that the city’s speed cameras have nabbed school bus drivers, police, public employees and city bus drivers more than 8,000 times over the past two years.

In most cases the tickets were passed on to the drivers, but in some cases — bus drivers and police driving unmarked cars who could justify speeding — those fines were either paid by the Chicago Transit Authority or waived altogether.

The Chicago Tribune’s fine, fine, fine reporting work uncovered 714 bus violations and more than 2,000 police tickets in two years.

Chicago has an interesting history with traffic enforcement cameras. The city’s contractor was sued — by the city — for $300 million this year after it was revealed that the company bribed city officials for the contract. The company’s CEO stepped down when it became clear the company paid more than $2 million in bribes for the $124 million contract.

According to the newspaper, more than 2 million tickets have been issued by the cameras, resulting in more than $81 million in fines ($40.50 on average, per ticket) in the two years since the cameras were installed.

A state spokeswoman said public employees caught speeding by the cameras receive the fines, just like any driver.

A CTA spokeswoman said bus drivers are subject to a different disciplinary procedure when they’re caught speeding. Bus drivers’ tickets are paid by the agency.

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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14 Comments on “SURPRISE: Some Bus Drivers, Police in Chicago Not Required to Pay Speed Camera Fines...”

  • avatar

    Between 25 MPH speed cameras, red light cameras and foreigners who can’t even speak/read or write English tasked with issuing parking tickets simply by scanning my registration…

    …simply driving and parking has become a headache for me.

    My cars don’t even work properly under 60 MPH.

    And with the HELLCAT about to drop…

    Ima lose my license.


    • 0 avatar

      Life is so unfair I am sure if you explain how your special the Judge will understand. perhaps they will close the BQE for everyone so you can get to the Polo club a little faster.

      • 0 avatar

        Polo Club?

        Polo is for members of high society.

        Stuck up guys with “the 3rd” as part of their names.

        Women named “Penelope”.

        I’m just a wealthy plebeian who just likes to go really fast in straight lines.

        • 0 avatar

          ” I’m just a (wealthy) plebeian who just likes to go really fast in straight lines.”

          Hard to argue this .

          I’d like the ‘ wealthy ‘ part too =8-) .

          FWIW , the taxpayer paid for ‘ Fast Track ‘ lanes on the Los Angeles area freeways that were then given to private revenue generating company , routinely tickets ALL Municipal vehicles that don’t have the (!$!) transponders ~ no discounts given .

          I can’t see ticketing Fire trucks , Ambulances and the Bomb Squad vehicles but they do .

          Only Motocycles are exempt from paying .

          It used to be that buses were ticketed when they blocked intersections or ran red lights to decrease grid lock and that was a *VERY* good thing as it stopped that B.S. cold .

          Now they’ve stopped ticketing them again , I often get stuck at a green light because some moron driving a transit bus pulls into the intersection the 8instant the traffic light goes yellow instead of waiting like any non drooler would .

          Do I speed ?? you betcha I do .

          I don’t when there is much traffic , that’d be stupid as well as careless .

          Do I run red lights ? _never_ ~ not even when it’s 0-Dark:30 and I can see in all directions for miles .


  • avatar

    In Seattle Metro, Sound Transit, and Pierce County Transit buses regularly run red light intersections with impunity. It was investigated a few years ago.

    The city of Seattle has compassionately surrounded the Level 1 Trauma Center, Harborview, with red light cameras in the name of revenue collection, sorry, sorry, in the name of safety. The yellow lights are RIDICULOUS short, coming off of I-5 south ramp to the James Street intersection, that yellow light can’t be more than 1-3/4 or 2 seconds long.

    I would suspect that along with the buses that get a free pass, non-emergency Medic 1, ambulance, and police traffic leaving the hospital also get a free pass. The employees of the hospital — not so much.

  • avatar

    I’ve lost track of the number of times cop cars have blow past me speeding… no lights, no siren, nothing – just going as fast as they please because they know darn well they ain’t getting a ticket. Also I’ve seen cops turning on their lights because they got tired of waiting at a busy intersection to make a left. After clearing the intersection and driving about a block or two the lights magically go off.

    There was big investigation here in SFL over cops speeding on the Turnpike, read more here:

    • 0 avatar

      If you didn’t mention SFL I would have guessed you live in HNL… same I’m-a-cop superiority complex.

      Every time it gets a mention in the newspaper the cops trot out the “he was responding to a call” lie.

  • avatar

    I think the real news is that the tickets are standing for those on-duty police officers that can’t justify the speeding.

    Chicago appears to be holding law enforcement to the same standard they do everyone else.

  • avatar

    As do other states, Illinois generally exempts cops from speeding laws. (In the case of Illinois, “when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm.”) Not exactly a surprise.

  • avatar

    There’s a reason why it’s called Crook County. The administration(s) is/are more crooked than the criminals.

  • avatar

    You forgot to mention rahm’s motorcade who is slightly under a microscope for other things at the moment.

  • avatar

    Why would there be any justification of a transit bus to violate speed and traffic control laws? Mass transit operators are supposed to be a cut above the average passenger car driver in skill. Hmmm.

    I live by this motto: Better to be a few minutes late driving prudently than being late hours, days (hospitalization), or even permanently (death) due to reckless driving in an attempt to beat the clock and getting into a wreck as a result.

    I know, it sounds like a banal line from an old, well-worn 1980’s driver safety VHS tape still being shown in high school driving courses across the country, but it’s effective.

  • avatar

    Chicago is a toilet

  • avatar

    “professionals” and “analyst” all wonder aloud in the news how Trump can be as popular as he is. After all, he says such outlandish things!!!
    But it is simple, illogical and openly morally wrong exceptions to every day laws and justice everybody else has to follow, but not these, the lucky chosen in-group and connected, that have brought the common folk to a deep anger.

    Anybody but the crooked thieves we now have.

    They all accept responsibility, for everything from Benghazi to the VA horrors. Yet all these months and years later nobody loses their jobs.
    Everybody gets placed onto “paid leave” and then quietly, after the headlines have moved along to the next crisis of the day…they get transferred to a newer, sometimes better position.

    Wash rinse repeat.

    And they wonder why the people are angry.

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