Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive is a hot spot for high-speed ticketing, according to city police data.
The scenic highway along Lake Michigan accounts for more than half of all such citations in the city, the Chicago Tribune reported. The number of high-speed tickets issued on Lake Shore Drive jumped to more than 4,300 last year, up from more than 500 in 2014. Citywide, more than 7,800 such citations were issued last year, up from nearly 1,400 in 2014.
There were more high-speed tickets issued last year for going at least 35 mph over the speed limit on South Lake Shore Drive – nearly 2,600 – than on any other section of the road.
The majority of drivers receiving speeding tickets on Lake Shore were going at least 75 to 80 mph, which is almost double the maximum speed limit.
“I observe some people driving extremely fast,” said Joseph Schofer, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University. “The roadway kind of invites that. When there’s not much traffic, it’s a pleasant drive; there are not many sharp curves.
Police have been stepping up traffic enforcement across Chicago as part of the Vision Zero project, which launched last year and aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries, said Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
A law change for speeding may also be a factor, said traffic attorney Matt Fakhoury. A 2014 change in state law expanded the definition of criminal or aggravated speeding.
Speeding more than 35 mph over the limit is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a penalties up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Speeding between 26 to 34 mph over the limit is considered a Class B misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to six months in jail and up to $1,500 in fines.
“People are not necessarily speeding more,” Fakhoury said. “The police are more aware of it.”
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