It’s springtime for scolds. With the help of the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians and pundits have enjoyed an unprecedented bounty of opportunities to police the personal behavior of private citizens.
And it’s not just masks. The Illinois Policy Institute is out with a new study finding that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reduced threshold for the issuance of automatic speeding tickets by street cameras landed the city’s residents one speeding ticket every eleven seconds.
When Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot decreased the cameras’ ticket-issuing threshold to 6 mph from 10 mph, so many tickets were issued that the first 10 months of 2021 tallied as many tickets as were issued in the three prior years combined. Chicago speed cameras issued 2.3 million tickets in that period, about a ticket every 11 seconds.
That delivered a large cost to taxpayers: $73.8 million worth of tickets through October, according to open records requests by the Institute.
The Chicago father driving his kids to soccer practice is under constant surveillance, sure to be fined for the most minor of traffic infractions. On the other hand, 55 percent of murders committed in Chicago went unsolved in 2020.
That’s a theme in the contemporary American city: More public energy is devoted to ensuring that kindergarteners wear masks than that violent crime is punished.
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