Parking, traffic camera and vehicle tickets generate millions of dollars in desperately needed cash each year for the City of Chicago. But for the working poor, and particularly for African Americans, paying for tickets can be difficult — opening the door to more fines and fees, and spiraling debt. Drivers who don’t pay what they owe face tough punishments from the city and state that threaten their livelihoods.
A cash-strapped city employs punitive measures to collect from cash-strapped black residents — and lawyers benefit.
Cities nationwide look to Chicago as officials wrestle with whether speed cameras have improved traffic safety enough to justify their financial burden on Black and Latino motorists.
A ProPublica analysis found that traffic cameras in Chicago disproportionately ticket Black and Latino motorists. But city officials plan to stick with them — and other cities may adopt them too.
In 2018, ProPublica reported on how vehicle tickets in Chicago disproportionately harm low-income, Black residents. This latest set of reforms proposes lowering ticket costs and providing debt relief for low-income residents.
If Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the measure that lawmakers passed this week, motorists will no longer lose their licenses for unpaid red-light and speed camera tickets.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the move to waive late penalties on city debts and stop the booting of vehicles was aimed at helping low-income residents.
A State Senator Had Thousands of Dollars in Ticket Debt. Now She’s Fighting to Make Sure Others Won’t.
Our Q+A with Illinois state Sen. Celina Villanueva, who introduced a bill to end driver’s license suspensions for unpaid red-light tickets.
Tens of Thousands of People Lost Driver’s Licenses Over Unpaid Parking Tickets. Now, They’re Getting Them Back.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday to end license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets, affecting nearly 55,000 Illinois motorists. Lawmakers cited ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago reporting for leading to the new law.
A Half-Million Chicago Drivers Have Unpaid Sticker Tickets, but Only 11,400 Applied for the City’s Relief Program
Advocates for ticket reform say they’re disappointed the city didn’t do more to encourage Chicago motorists to sign up for its debt relief program. The city says more reforms are coming.
Close to 1,300 people have downloaded data from our app, The Ticket Trap. We talked with some of them.
The measure must still be signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has been critical of how ticket debt harms Chicago motorists.
Hundreds of Thousands of Chicago Motorists Could Receive Debt Relief From Vehicle Sticker Tickets as the City Expands Reform
Attention, Chicago motorists: You have until Oct. 31 to buy a city sticker and then qualify for a new debt forgiveness program.
Chicago became the largest U.S. city to enact major reforms to its system of parking fines and fees. City officials say more changes are coming.
Chicago City Council Approves Ticket and Debt Collection Reforms to Help Low-Income and Minority Motorists
The measures, which were prompted by a ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago investigation, are scheduled to take effect by mid-November.
She’s Risked Arrest by Driving With a Suspended License for Seven Years. This Week She Got Some Big News.
Some 55,000 Illinoisans could regain their driver’s licenses very soon.
Chicago Mayor Proposes Reforms That Would Make Life Easier for Thousands of Black and Low-Income Drivers
After more than a year of reporting from ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced ticketing changes and said she would support legislation to change state law — beginning to make good on a campaign promise.
Hate Getting Parking Tickets in Chicago? Here’s How You Can Start Change-Making Conversations About the City’s Ticketing System.
We’ve created an event toolkit to help communities start or continue conversations about how Chicago’s parking and vehicle ticketing system drives motorists into debt and jeopardizes livelihoods.
A federal appeals court said the city’s aggressive legal strategy, aimed at discouraging motorists with unpaid ticket debt from filing under Chapter 13, violated the basic protections of bankruptcy, and the city was doing so mostly to generate revenue.
How to Clean Up the “Hot Mess” That Is Chicago’s Ticketing and Debt Collection Practices — According to a City Task Force
Here’s what the task force is recommending for initial reform.
Task Force on Tickets and Debt Suggests Reforms but Needs Chicago’s Mayor and City Council to Finish the Work
A report from the Chicago Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative responded to many of the problems ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago revealed.
The project gave us an opportunity to try a bunch of technical approaches that could help a small organization like ours develop sustainable news apps.