A published report said his motorcade was caught speeding or running red lights 20 times since 2012, by the same cameras he has touted as ways to catch and deter traffic scofflaws.
“As soon as I saw that, or heard about it, the story, I said, ‘Look, follow the law. Nobody’s above the law. Slow down, period. Non-stop,” Emanuel said. He likely meant “full stop.”
The mayor also was asked about hundreds of dollars of red light and speed camera tickets that reportedly have gone unpaid.
“You have my answer he said,”
You heard that right: Good behavior is bad for the budget. Real bad, reports CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine. CBS 2 has learned the speed cameras caught far fewer speeders than expected. According to the Mayor’s 2015 Budget Overview, there have been “lower than expected violation rates.”
How much lower? Fifty million dollars lower. Emanuel’s administration had figured on $90 million in fines to help balance this year’s budget, but they can only count on $40 million. That’s a $50 million shortfall, putting pressure on the next spending plan.
Think about the logic here for a moment: Rahm Emanuel wrote a spending budget for the third largest city in the country that relied on a certain revenue number from speed cameras. Where’s the incentive for better behavior on the road in that? There is none. The fact is that Chicago drivers are far better behaved than the city expected. That’s an outcome you’d think the city would be celebrating. Instead, it’s considered a negative, because the speed cameras were never about safety, they were only a method to fill the city’s coffers to the tune of milliions of dollars. That isn’t so much public policy as it is an extortion racket that happens to have failed.