New, lower speed limit violation enforcement starts Monday for drivers in Chicago. Under the new rules, tickets can be issued by speed cameras if you're going only 6 miles per hour over the speed limit.
"That's ripping the people off bad," said driver Eugene Chambers.
Chicago drivers said they're frustrated with the idea of more speeding fines during one of the worst economic downturns in US history.
"We are struggling, and I don't feel that's fair to enforce that so soon," said driver Elsa Rivera as she waited for her car's gas tank to fill.
9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said he's right there with them.
"This is the worst time on earth for us to be looking to find ways to raise revenue basically on the backs of people who can least afford it," Beale said.
He said new speed camera enforcement plans near schools and parks are there just to nickel and dime Chicagoans to help fill the city's budget shortfall.
"This is all a grab for more money more revenue, because we know the city is hurting," Beale said.
If you're in an active Children's Safety Speed Enforcement Zone near city schools and parks, expect fines of $35 dollars if you're going between 6 and 10 mph over the posted speed limit. That fine shoots up to $100 dollars if you're going more than 10 miles over the limit.
"That's not fair. No, not at all. That's not fair to all of the people at all," Chambers said.
While drivers may be frustrated, the city said this is a response to a 45% increase in traffic fatalities in Chicago from 2019 to 2020, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
CDOT said with reduced traffic volume during the pandemic, there was a surge in speeding and traffic deaths. They said 139 people died in traffic crashes in Chicago in 2020.
"We're hoping this grabs people's attention. When you hit somebody in the pocket book, that's when they'll start to pay attention, especially if the fines start piling up," said Thomas Baliga, president of the Archer Heights Civic Association.
Baliga said he's thinking of the lives lost to crashes this past year in his community, including a 13-year-old girl killed in a crash in January.
"I mean we gotta star protecting the general population in the city," Baliga said.
You can also see exact addresses of enforcement zones here. You can find more information about the zones on the city's website as well.
New Chicago speeding tickets with higher fines start Monday