Why Automated Speed Cameras Disproportionately Affect Black and Brown Drivers


Chicago has the highest rate of personal bankruptcy cases related to fines and fees in the country.

 Automated traffic enforcement is active in nearly 200 communities nationwide. In Chicago, Illinois, speed cameras have been in place since 2013. In 2023, the city generated an extra $120 million by lowering the citation threshold from 10 miles over the speed limit to 6 miles. Journalist Paul Soloman interviews Chicago residents, city officials, and advocates, including Stacey Sutton, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, who studied the tickets issued in Chicago from 2016 to 2021, Oboi Reed, CEO of Equiticity Ventures and traffic reform activist, and  Alderman Daniel La Spata of the 1st Ward on traffic fines and fees in Chicago. Solomon reports that Black and Latinx communities are home to some of the cities’ most dangerous arterial roads with terrible infrastructure. Rather than investing in engineering to solve the problem of traffic violence, the city has implemented automated speed cameras. The issued tickets financially burden poor communities and lead to long-term economic harm.

You can watch the video here

Paul Solman and Ryan Connelly Holmes