Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rahm Emanuel's Red Light Scheme to Rip Off Drivers: The Chicago Tribune Editorial

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Some Chicago aldermen are calling for an investigation into the city's highly suspect red light camera system. Drivers who were ticketed are demanding their money back. Attorneys are trolling the online comment boards, looking for plaintiffs to join their class-action lawsuits.

City officials don't seem to understand what the fuss is about.

They can't explain the dozens of dramatic spikes in the number of tickets generated by individual cameras at seemingly random intersections throughout the city. They wouldn't have known about the spikes at all, in fact, if not for the work of Tribune reporters David Kidwell and Alex Richards. They produced their report using public data the city fought hard to withhold.

There's little evidence that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration share the outrage of motorists who were snared in those arbitrary spikes. Nor have they done much to assure drivers that it won't happen again. The mayor on Tuesday finally discussed the report, briefly, with a Tribune reporter.

The Tribune's analysis of more than 4 million tickets issued since 2007 found dramatic surges at dozens of intersections throughout the city. Cameras that had generated one or two violations a day suddenly recorded dozens for several days or weeks, then abruptly dropped back to their previous levels.

In the days before and after the spikes, those cameras frequently recorded no violations at all. Experts consulted by the Tribune could offer only two possible explanations: the cameras were broken (and mysteriously repaired themselves) or someone adjusted the settings to snare more drivers. The city has no records to explain what went on during those dark periods. None.
Con man Rahm Emanuel is the perfect guy to rip off drivers: after all he was the point man in ramming through ObamaCare through Congress.