Chicago mayor plans 'showdown' for speeders

| 9/13/2002

Mayor Richard Daley said this week that his streets are becoming more like a stage set for a spaghetti western, and he plans to rein in the "Wild West" driving habits of the "Me Generation."

City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Thomas Allen (38th), backed by Daley, plans to crackdown on drivers who blow through stop signs and red lights, speed down residential streets and block intersections. Violators would pay through the nose with double and even triple fines - up to $300 for a wide array of traffic offenses.

According to a released report, Allen wants the city to experiment with everything from mobile radar units that remind drivers of their speed to video cameras mounted on traffic signals at high-volume intersections.

Future plans may include the use of "civilian or quasi-civilian aides" to identify traffic "hot spots" where police could focus their enforcement efforts, Allen said.

"It's the 'Wild West' out there," said Allen. "Yellow means hurry up. Red means if that guy goes, I'm going. There's no end to it. The only thing they don't do is drive on the sidewalks. The rules of the road don't exist anymore."