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City Fines Drivers Speeding 6 mph Above Speed Limit

Mary Chappell | The PhoenixRogers Park and Edgewater residents have differing views on Chicago's plan to fine drivers speeding 6 mph above the speed limit.

Rogers Park and Edgewater drivers should expect to be fined if they’re caught speeding in Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) Children’s Safety Zones thanks to a recent city-wide initiative. 

In the initiative that started March 1, the City of Chicago announced drivers will be fined for speeding in ASE Children’s Safety Zones located within 1/8th of a mile from schools and parks.

In Edgewater and Rogers Park, speed cameras are located at 5887 N. Ridge Ave. and 6523 N. Western Ave., respectively.

Those who drive between 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit will be fined $35, whereas drivers who speed 11 mph over the limit will face a $100 fine, the announcement said. Some drivers may instead receive a warning notice if it’s their first offense or if they have extenuating circumstances.

Jose Solsol, who has been living in Rogers Park for 10 years, said a $35 fine is a fair penalty for not following the speed limit, which is implemented to keep everyone on the road safe.

Solsol, 42, said he doesn’t have a problem with the city’s decision to penalize drivers speeding 6 mph above the speed limit because it’ll encourage drivers to be more mindful of the speed at which they drive. 

Before March, drivers were fined for driving 10 mph above the speed limit, according to the announcement. Between Jan. 15 and the last day of February, drivers were sent warning notices for driving between 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit.

The decision to ticket speeders stems from an increase in traffic fatalities by more than 45 percent since 2019, according to the announcement. Traffic data revealed drivers drove approximately 9 percent faster in 2020 when fewer cars were on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi said ASE cameras will prevent traffic crashes by discouraging drivers from driving over the speed limit.

Even if drivers have to be more cautious on the road now, some Rogers Park residents agree with this decision. 

A retired Rogers Park resident of five years, Linda Gies, who doesn’t own a car and uses public transportation, said she supports the decision to ticket drivers for speeding because it’ll raise money for the city. 

Gies, 67, said the $35 and $100 fines are reasonable since speeding in a dense city like Chicago can be dangerous. She also said she believes it’ll be effective in preventing drivers from speeding because people don’t like paying fines.   

“Someone who has a car in Chicago is hopefully not poor,” Gies said. 

While some Rogers Park and Edgewater residents approve of the city fining drivers, others don’t.

Edgewater resident Gaby Jo, 22, said she doesn’t think installing cameras is an appropriate use of the city’s budget. Jo said she thinks the money raised from fining drivers who are speeding will go to areas not approved by most people, including the police department, because of how the mayor has allocated funds in the past.

Communication manager for the Chicago Department of Transportation Michael Claffey said revenue generated from fines will go to the city budget’s general fund.

Jo said she doesn’t feel fining drivers who are speeding will be discouraging because she generally sees people driving luxury sport cars speeding, who she assumes are rich enough to not be affected by fines. 

Jo also said she doesn’t think it’s necessary to fine people if they drive as little as 6 mph above the speed limit. 

Jo, who mostly uses public transportation, said she thinks the city should invest in high-speed trains and plan better bus schedules instead so people don’t need to use their cars as much. 

Claffey said data on traffic violations won’t be available until April. There are currently cameras near 33 parks and 8 schools, he said.

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