Guess what’s racist now? Yes, everything is racist, as we know, but specifically what new thing is racist? Traffic cameras.
A ProPublica analysis found that traffic cameras in Chicago disproportionately ticket Black and Latino motorists. . . An analysis of millions of citations found that households in majority Black and Hispanic ZIP codes received tickets at around twice the rate of those in white areas between 2015 and 2019.
Those evil racist cameras. But wait—there’s more!
The coronavirus pandemic widened the ticketing disparities.
So COVID is racist, too?
It turns out that Chicago’s hapless Mayor Lori Lightweight was responsible for expanding this racist enforcement measure:
Lightfoot — who campaigned in part on ending what she called the city’s “addiction” to fines and fees — proposed that Chicago expand camera ticketing by lowering the speeds at which cameras will issue citations. Lightfoot called it a public safety measure, especially in light of a spike in traffic fatalities during the pandemic, but many observers called it a money grab. The City Council approved the measure as part of the 2021 annual budget.
And guess what—the program worked:
A summary of the University of Illinois/Chicago research provided to ProPublica last week confirmed the racial disparities in red-light and speed-camera ticketing and found that most of the speed cameras improve safety.
But it is a near certainty that the camera enforcement program will be curtailed, because equity.