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Ald. Anthony Beale hopes for vote on proposal to repeal lower 6mph threshold for speed camera tickets, claims shenanigans have held it up

Alderman hopes for vote for proposal lower 6mph threshold for speed camera tickets
Alderman hopes for vote for proposal to raise 6mph threshold for speed camera tickets 02:42

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One Chicago alderman is hoping the fourth time is the charm when it comes to changing Chicago's speed camera tickets and fines.

The City Council Finance Committee is set to take up the proposal on Tuesday. But Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) is afraid the vote will be stopped – again.

City Council Committee to vote on speed cameras and fines 01:37

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, Beale wants to raise the threshold for the issuance of a ticket back to 10 mph over the speed limit. That had been the rule until March of last year, when the city's network of speed cameras began issuing $35 tickets to drivers caught going 6 mph to 9 mph over the limit.

Beale has made efforts to repeal the lower threshold for speed camera tickets before, but it has never quite made it to a vote for various reasons. That could change on Tuesday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot lowered the ticket speeding threshold from 10 mph down to 6 on March 1, 2021. The number of speeding tickets that were issued quickly skyrocketed.

Mayor Lightfoot said the purpose was safety.

Enter Ald. Beale, an outspoken mayoral critic.

"Tickets have over tripled. Revenue has over tripled," Beale said. That's not about public safety. That's about revenue."

Beale has been fighting to change the speed at which drivers get ticketed back to the pre-2021 level for more than a year.

Under Beale's proposal, speeding 10 mph over the limit would result in a $35 fine, while speeding 11 mph over the limit would be a $100 ticket.

"Every which way you turn, I've been hitting a stone wall – a.k.a. Lori Lightfoot," Beale said.

He claims shenanigans, and points to last week's City Council Finance Committee hearing. Beale's proposal was up for a vote – until it wasn't.

City Council Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) called for the meeting last week to stand in recess "to get everyone the straight up facts," over the Beale's request for a roll call vote on his proposal.

City Councill Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) called Beale's claims of shenanigans "just bunk."

Waguespack said aldermen wanted more information, which is why he postponed voting on Beale's proposal for five days.

Kozlov: "You will allow it, and it will be voted on tomorrow?"

Waguespack: "Yeah, absolutely. I think that was my intention the whole time."

Beale and others fighting to raise the speed ticket limit said they will hold Waguespack to that remark.

"It's time for the mayor to let the aldermen make the vote to reverse that decision," said Mark Wallace of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.

Beale's proposal is the only item on the Finance Committee agenda Tuesday. If it passes, it could go for a full City Council vote Wednesday.

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