The Talker: Chicago`s first speed cameras now operational - New York News

The Talker: Chicago`s first speed cameras now operational

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago's first speed cameras, set up at Foster and Pulaski on the Northwest Side, were turned on Monday.

The cameras will measure how fast drivers are going, and will issue tickets if it's over the speed limit.

For the first 30 days, drivers accused of speeding will get a warning in the mail. After the 30 days, drivers clocked going from 6 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit will get fined $35. Tickets are $100 for drivers who go 11 miles per hour or more above the speed limit.

The city plans to have speed cameras in 50 spots by the end of the year, and eventually at up to 300 locations.

Illinois law permits the cameras to be placed within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks. Chicago has so many schools and parks, an analysis by the Chicago Tribune found the 1/8-of-a-mile standard covers nearly half the city.

Critics say it's a pure money grab. Testing of the cameras indicate each intersection with cameras could generate $1.2 million a month in tickets.

The city has a big budget hole to fill and the mayor admits to wanting the extra cash, but he also says the cameras will also make people walking along the streets -- especially children -- safer.

A few people in the neighborhoods agree.

"I like it cuz I got kids," one resident says. "So, with the busy street here we just live right down the block so I think it's a good thing."

Some critics say the speed cameras will not even make roads safer. In fact, one person we spoke with says they'll just make drivers nervous. He points to red light cameras and the unease some drivers have about not knowing whether to step on the gas or the brake when the light is turning yellow.

"They have signs for red light camera enforcement and people still drive in fear of getting taxed at every intersection," Barnet Fagel, an advocate for motorists' rights, says. "Usurped out of their hard earned money by a machine. There's no due process like their would be in a similar case if an officer issued a ticket."

FOX 32 invited the city of Chicago to have a spokesperson come discuss the speed cameras, but they say they had no one available.

What are your thoughts on the new speed cameras? Sound off on our Facebook page.

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