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8/12/2007
Chicago, Illinois Suburbs: No Mercy Speed Traps
Chicago, Illinois suburbs set up speed traps in which no one other than a fellow police officer can escape a traffic citation.

Plano Chief Steven Eaves
Police in Chicago, Illinois suburbs are citing terrorism as a reason for "no mercy" speed traps where every motorist stopped by police -- other than fellow police officers -- receives a traffic citation. A Chicago Sun-Times analysis found that a total of thirty towns had a policy where more than 90 percent of drivers stopped must be ticketed.

"There's a lot of people who come in and out, and with all this terrorism and everything else that's going on, we have zero tolerance," North Chicago Police Sergeant Sal Cecala told the Sun-Times. "There's no breaks for the officers to give."

North Chicago has a 99.5 percent ticket issuance rate -- only 21 drivers got warnings out of 4372 stopped. To increase ticket revenue further, the city is preparing to install automated ticketing cameras at intersections. Only Prairie Grove beats North Chicago with a 99.9 percent ticket rate, but police officials insist that officers do not have a ticket quota. In Markham, the ticket issuance rate is 99 percent. In Riverside, it is 96 percent.

Only a few suburbs including Geneva and Plano have ticket issuance rates below 25 percent, ensuring that only serious violations are ticketed. Drivers who may have strayed over the limit without endangering anyone receive warnings.

"I want my officers not only on Route 34, but they need to be in the subdivisions and parks and out talking to the kids," Plano Police Chief Steven Eaves told the Sun-Times. "We want them well-rounded so they do a little bit of everything, not just sit on the main route writing tickets."

Source: No mercy here, just tickets (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/12/2007)

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