It’s A Great Stupid Mystery: Why Are Minority Drivers Getting More Tickets From Red Light And Speeding Cameras In Chicago?

What could it be? A recent study by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers found that speed cameras reduced fatal and serious crashes by 15%, but it also found that camera violations, including running red lights, were more likely in Black and brown communities. “The question then became why,” said Stacey Sutton, associate professor of UIC’s Department of Urban Planning and Policy. “Roadway density is different. Population density, there are fewer businesses for people yet so there may be a good propensity to speed in those areas. And that we’re seeing that would explain some of it.” Reporting on same data, Pro Publica notes that “the [Wuhan virus] pandemic widened the ticketing disparities.”

The study along with “disparate impact” reasoning means that somehow the system is racist—you know, systemic racism again. Those racist cameras. Aided and abetted by the virus. Or something.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says those ticketed who are “of color” may have to get a break on extra fines and fees, or get to pay based on an amount proportionate to their income.

I have this crazy theory, but hear me out: maybe the reason the cameras are resulting in disproportionate tickets for black drivers and other minorities is because black drivers and other minorities in Chicago are violating the traffic laws in disproportionate numbers. That would suggest to me a cultural problem, the result of being taught by family members and community role models that if one can get away with wrongdoing when no one seems to be around, go for it. It’s not a matter of race, it’s a matter of economic stress, irresponsible leadership and related factors.

This is exactly the attitude my mother, who grew up during the Depression in a large, first generation Greek immigrant family, had about just about everything. If she thought she could get away with a little bit of cheating or larceny, she tried. Adding to this destructive and anti-social mindset would be the current progressive push to exonerate minorities from personal responsibility, since they have been indoctrinated to believe that white supremacy has condemned them to permanent victimhood.

Reducing the fines sufficiently in the name of “equity” can also be counted on to disproportionately encourage more minority drivers to take a shot, since not much will be at stake.

Eventually, I fully expect that Lightfoot and her race-obsessed party will try to remove the bigoted cameras in the name of “equity.” People will die as a result, probably also disproportionately minorities, but at least the city will be rid of another racist system.

8 thoughts on “It’s A Great Stupid Mystery: Why Are Minority Drivers Getting More Tickets From Red Light And Speeding Cameras In Chicago?

  1. That observation about your mom’s tendency to want to “get over” is really interesting. Over at Glenn Loury’s Youtube channel, a Penn law school prof. is getting a lot of heat for expressing the thought that maybe too many Indian immigrants are not good for American culture. I think her point is simply that people who come from places like India where it’s winner take all, and then some, and people think they’re getting screwed all the time (because they are) and therefore they should grab all they can when they can, such people are not a good fit for an American society of law and order. I saw this in a guy I worked with who was from Idi Amin’s Uganda as a young boy. He even talked about guys in Africa he knew who crowed about ripping off their government for literally millions of dollars and the reaction was, “Bravo. Good for them.” Again, it’s called, I believe, “getting over.” The government is just there to be hit like a pinata and you get to keep whatever falls out. I suspect this is why so many U.S. black politicians immediately put both their arms in the cookie jar up to their elbows. They think that’s what they’re supposed to do.

    As to the traffic light ticket cameras, it’s clearly the cameras have been programmed to scan the face of the driver and delete fair skinned offenders. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  2. Yes, it could be that they are worse drivers, “worse” in the sense that they tend to ignore basic traffic laws. I can’t begin to put a number on the times I have heard “white man’s laws” from a driver being cited.

    The camera does not evaluate race. A good many times it does not get a good enough photo of the driver of an errant vehicle to allow them to be held responsible. Some states might hold the registered owner responsible, but that creates many problems.

    One reason for an apparent difference in numbers during the Covid mess takes us back to my first paragraph: its possible some groups within the population take the admonitions to stay home, or at least inside, wear a mask, or social-distance a bit more seriously than do other groups. YMMV.

  3. Here in NYC we are eliminating crime by legalizing criminal behavior. It’s so ingenious!
    The only ones that need pay for their crimes are those who go 26mph as the speed limit was lowered in NYC to make big bucks I mean make streets safer. Go in the bus lane for seconds to get around a stopped vehicle and -click- you’re fined big bucks.
    Since my husband (the driver) is Hispanic maybe he’s a victim of racist cameras too!
    Good points here Jack!

  4. This story makes me smile in a perverse sort of way because it is a perfect litmus test to see if someone is obsessed with RACISM or not. There’s no credible way you can argue that the camera is actually racist, so how do you explain these results?

    The most deluded of the race-obsessed (like the Mayor) will reveal themselves over this.

    Racist cameras indeed!


  5. That sounds like the same phenomenon that resulted in the New Jersey State Police being accused of racism some 20 years ago. NJ State Troopers gave a disproportionate number of Black drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike speeding tickets, so the Justice Department stepped in to put this obvious racial profiling to an end. Only afterward did the police union get involved, doing a study of just how fast drivers were going on the Turnpike. It turned out that Black drivers from urban areas were disproportionately likely to have lead feet once they got out into the open road.

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