Chicago Mayor Lightfoot’s SUVs exposed for repeated traffic violations, refusal to pay fines for speeding, running red lights

Chicago, Illinois has long had a reputation as a city with high crime rates, including among its politicians, and now it has been revealed that the current elected leader of the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), is herself a repeat offender of particular city statutes.

A recent investigative report revealed that Mayor Lightfoot’s taxpayer-funded SUVs have repeatedly been caught and warned or ticketed for speeding and running red lights over the past two years, racking up hundreds of dollars in unpaid fines, the Daily Mail reported.

There is also an added layer of hypocrisy to the reportedly repeated criminality, as Lightfoot herself has pushed for a crackdown on speeders in the city and decried how dangerous it is for children and pedestrians to have to deal with vehicles speeding and running through red lights.

Habitual offender

According to CWB Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot’s SUVs have been involved in at least eight documented infractions of city statutes against excessive speed and running red lights since February 2020, including at least three tickets and two warnings since May 2021, none of which have been paid thus far.

In fact, one SUV in particular that the mayor reportedly no longer uses has been designated as eligible to be booted and impounded due to its outstanding unpaid tickets.

All of the reported incidents involving Lightfoot’s SUVs were captured by red light and speed zone cameras and, rather ironically, it was the mayor herself last year who worked to reduce the so-called “buffer” on those cameras from 10 mph to 6 mph in terms of what amount of excess speed would earn a driver a warning or ticket.

But what about the children?

As for the hypocrisy angle in this story, Mayor Lightfoot has recently and repeatedly stressed how dangerous and unsafe it is for Chicago drivers to speed past parks and school zones, especially when children are present.

Yet, according to CWB Chicago, several of the incidents in which Lightfoot’s SUVs were caught exceeding the speed limit came near parks and school zones when children were, in fact, present.

As things stand now, per the Daily Mail, the mayor’s office has at least $658 worth of unpaid fines for speeding tickets or running red lights. Interestingly enough, this actually isn’t even a new issue, as Lightfoot had also racked up numerous traffic violation tickets prior to 2020 but, according to a November 2020 report from the Chicago Tribune, those previous tickets were routinely dismissed until the issue was exposed by the media.

Mayor’s office refuses to pay tickets, shifts blame to individual drivers

For what it is worth, Mayor Lightfoot’s office has belatedly issued a statement in response to CWB Chicago’s report that appeared to excuse the repeated violations of the mayor’s detail, dispute the validity of the tickets and unpaid fines, and ultimately cast responsibility on the drivers themselves instead of the mayor they work for.

“The Mayor’s Detail is responsible for the safety and security of Mayor Lightfoot. Members of the Mayor’s Detail are trained in a variety of safety and security techniques to keep the Mayor safe and that includes both vehicles staying in formation while en route. The Mayor has repeatedly stressed to the Detail traffic safety and that running red lights is never acceptable,” the statement said.

“Like with all citations incurred by City or other safety and security vehicles by other agencies, they go through an administrative process to review if City vehicles were in use for safety or security reasons and subsequently the Department of Finance will determine whether the party is responsible,” the mayor’s office added. “Payment is not collected until that process is concluded. Individual members of the Mayor’s Detail are responsible for payment of tickets incurred while they are driving.”

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