The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

City To Review Thousands Of Red-Light Camera Tickets

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 23, 2014 9:30PM

With growing calls from aldermen for a review and a class-action lawsuit pending, Chicago Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld announced Wednesday a review of over 9,000 tickets issued from red-light cameras during questionable spikes in ticketing.

Scheinfeld made her announcement during a meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee, “nothing is more important than maintaining the public trust in our safety programs.”

Scheinfeld didn’t tell the Transportation Committee which intersections with red-light cameras were selected or offer details of the review process. But it is an attempt to get ahead of yet another negative story regarding the scandal-plagued red-light camera network. A recent Tribune investigation revealed motorists received over 13,000 tickets from red-light cameras—either as a result of faulty equipment or possible human intervention—via sudden and unexplained spikes in ticketing, which experts told the Tribune should not happen in automated cameras.

The spikes occurred during Redflex Traffic Solutions’ stewardship of the red-light camera network. Redflex lost the contract to manage the network after another Tribune investigation revealed former Transportation Department executive John Bills allegedly received bribes, including trips, cash, gifts and use of an Arizona condominium, in exchange for steering business to Redflex. (Bills was indicted on bribery charges in May.)

Aldermen have asked City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson to investigate the program. Scheinfeld joined aldermen in asking Ferguson to launch an investigation Wednesday. She added that CDOT would soon begin posting online the daily ticket counts for every camera in the network. Last week a Lincoln Park banker filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status to have Redflex reimburse drivers millions of dollars they earned during the duration of their contract to manage the red-light camera network.