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If the city can issue tickets against photos of vehicles breaking the law robotically, why can't it leverage the cycling population to submit pictures of cars, trucks, and taxi cabs parked and/or stopped in lanes designated for cycle traffic - and issue tickets against those as well?

A pilot program seems likely to attract dozens of eager volunteers.  It would raise awareness about the issue, and if it were successful, it would help keep Rage Cagers out of the bike lanes and in the streets, where they belong.  

Crazy talk?  Sick fantasy?  Or FREE municipal revenue generator?  

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There's the chain of custody issue.  The judge has no guarantee that the pictures haven't been photoshopped or altered and would probably have to let the person getting the ticket walk.

Perhaps, if... they showed up to fight the ticket.  

But I don't many people would show up.   My bet is if the city were to mail *most* people a picture of them violating a parking ordinance, along with a ticket, *most* would just pay the ticket. 

Folks would have to have to (a) be legit victims of a photoshop attack or (b) perjure themselves in court.  (a) Is unlikely, however adamantly claimed and (b) is something *most* people would find they're unwilling/unable to do to avoid paying a fine.  

City makes money.  Rage Cagers learn not to park in the BIKE ROAD.  Cyclists get a shiver of schadenfreude with each click of their smartphones' camera shutters.  What could go wrong?


S said:

There's the chain of custody issue.  The judge has no guarantee that the pictures haven't been photoshopped or altered and would probably have to let the person getting the ticket walk.



Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Perhaps, if... they showed up to fight the ticket.  

But I don't many people would show up.   My bet is if the city were to mail *most* people a picture of them violating a parking ordinance, along with a ticket, *most* would just pay the ticket. 

I'm not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt. But I believe there's certain rules of evidence that need to be followed to admit this in a hearing.  So, the people can just argue that the pictures don't follow the rules of evidence and get the case tossed out that way without even having to argue to whether the pictures were doctored or not.  

In any case, if the case goes past the administrative law judge and to a real court, the burden of proof is on the city and it needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pictures are legit. I think a decent lawyer could easily establish that doubt. All you need is one test case that takes it to court to set a precedent that the pictures are not admissible as evidence.

It's a great idea and there's a bunch of times were I wish that something like this existed. However, it'd effectively turn everyone into a government informant.  I'd rather not have some pissed off person follow me around when I'm biking and report me each time I don't come to a complete stop at stop signs. 

Maybe they could do this robotically....If a car is stopped in a certain place for more than 3 minutes a picture is taken and they get a ticket sent to them.

Another idea is make up fake tickets (obviously fake, but with a real orange envelope) and we cyclists stick them on the front of their windows as a warning.... 

Oh mai.  Fake tickets is genius.  Official-looking Orange envelope, but inside it says "This isn't a ticket, but it could be.  Please don't park in the BIKE ROAD".

Julie Hochstadter said:

Maybe they could do this robotically....If a car is stopped in a certain place for more than 3 minutes a picture is taken and they get a ticket sent to them.

Another idea is make up fake tickets (obviously fake, but with a real orange envelope) and we cyclists stick them on the front of their windows as a warning.... 

Jami aka balloonbiker made these a few years back.  These post-a-notes were friendly warnings for improperly locked bikes.  She would fold them so all you saw was the word Violation.

I would have loved to have a fake (or real!) ticket for the douche in the white beamer SUV who was parked in the Dearborn lane the other day, blocking the whole thing as he loaded his dry cleaning, and asked me to move (ride into traffic) so he could back out! The nerve!

What S said, PLUS members of this Ticket Brigade had better be prepared to clear their calendars for numerous court appearances. Photographs must also be authenticated, (typically) by a person who is familiar with the scene that was photographed providing testimony that the image "truly and accurately depicts the scene as it was at the time in question." 



S said:



Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Perhaps, if... they showed up to fight the ticket.  

But I don't many people would show up.   My bet is if the city were to mail *most* people a picture of them violating a parking ordinance, along with a ticket, *most* would just pay the ticket. 

I'm not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt. But I believe there's certain rules of evidence that need to be followed to admit this in a hearing.  So, the people can just argue that the pictures don't follow the rules of evidence and get the case tossed out that way without even having to argue to whether the pictures were doctored or not.  

In any case, if the case goes past the administrative law judge and to a real court, the burden of proof is on the city and it needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pictures are legit. I think a decent lawyer could easily establish that doubt. All you need is one test case that takes it to court to set a precedent that the pictures are not admissible as evidence.

It's a great idea and there's a bunch of times were I wish that something like this existed. However, it'd effectively turn everyone into a government informant.  I'd rather not have some pissed off person follow me around when I'm biking and report me each time I don't come to a complete stop at stop signs. 

I was being a 62% cheeky when I posted this.  Now, as then, I'm content that it wouldn't work for all sorts of grown-up reasons but I'm inspired to create fake "notices" that raise awareness.  That said, some of the replies seem uniformed.

Kevin: Not a lawyer either, but I can guarantee there is never a "reasonable doubt" standard - that's criminal law.  I'd wager the evidentiary standard is "clear and convincing evidence"; best of luck convincing a judge "that's not my car" when there are pictures of your car (better, pictures of you in it) and a close up of your license plate.  You would look like a crazy person, and the judge would treat you as such.

According to this page a "Red-Light" ticket isn't classified as a moving violation - it's effectively the same as a parking ticket - and you have the right to contest if you can prove (a) you received another ticket for the same violation under separate ordinance , (b) you reported the plates lost or stolen prior to the violation, (c) the vehicle was an authorized emergency vehicle or was lawfully participating in a funeral procession; (d) the facts alleged in the violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the Chicago Municipal code was violated, or (e) you were not the owner of the cited vehicle at the time of the violation. (note: paraphrased for brevity).

So the 35% of me that was not being cheeky still thinks the creation of a "Pedestrian Issued" ticket class would work from an administrative standpoint, especially if the photo taker adhered to the guidelines governing red-light tickets.  One can dream.

Kevin C 4.1 mi said:

What S said, PLUS members of this Ticket Brigade had better be prepared to clear their calendars for numerous court appearances. Photographs must also be authenticated, (typically) by a person who is familiar with the scene that was photographed providing testimony that the image "truly and accurately depicts the scene as it was at the time in question." 



S said:



Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Perhaps, if... they showed up to fight the ticket.  

But I don't many people would show up.   My bet is if the city were to mail *most* people a picture of them violating a parking ordinance, along with a ticket, *most* would just pay the ticket. 

I'm not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt. But I believe there's certain rules of evidence that need to be followed to admit this in a hearing.  So, the people can just argue that the pictures don't follow the rules of evidence and get the case tossed out that way without even having to argue to whether the pictures were doctored or not.  

In any case, if the case goes past the administrative law judge and to a real court, the burden of proof is on the city and it needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pictures are legit. I think a decent lawyer could easily establish that doubt. All you need is one test case that takes it to court to set a precedent that the pictures are not admissible as evidence.

It's a great idea and there's a bunch of times were I wish that something like this existed. However, it'd effectively turn everyone into a government informant.  I'd rather not have some pissed off person follow me around when I'm biking and report me each time I don't come to a complete stop at stop signs. 

I'm not sure if this speaks to the 62% cheeky Chi Lowe, the 35% not cheeky Chi Lowe or the 3% (other) Chi Lowe, but:

From Title 9-100-030 of the Chicago Municipal Code: Prima facie responsibility for violation and penalty – Parking violation issuance and removal.

(b)     Whenever any vehicle exhibits a compliance violation during operation or is parked in violation of any provision of the traffic code prohibiting or restricting vehicular parking or standing or regulating the condition of a parked or standing vehicle, any police officer, traffic control aide, other designated member of the police department, parking enforcement aide or other person designated by the city traffic compliance administrator observing such violation may issue a parking or compliance violation notice, as provided for in Section 9-100-040 and serve the notice on the owner of the vehicle by handing it to the operator of the vehicle, if he is present, or by affixing it to the vehicle in a conspicuous place. 

The analogy to Red Light Cameras is not a good one. The notice of violation contains photographs of the vehicle approaching the intersection, and in the intersection while the light is red. These photographs are actually excerpts of a high quality video of the offending vehicle before, during and after the alleged violation. Additionally the Municipal Code provides for standards of operation for the automated traffic law enforcement system, including posting of signs, statistical analysis reporting requirements, training of technicians, and testing of the equipment. (9-102-040 )


Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

I was being a 62% cheeky when I posted this.  Now, as then, I'm content that it wouldn't work for all sorts of grown-up reasons but I'm inspired to create fake "notices" that raise awareness.  That said, some of the replies seem uniformed.

Kevin: Not a lawyer either, but I can guarantee there is never a "reasonable doubt" standard - that's criminal law.  I'd wager the evidentiary standard is "clear and convincing evidence"; best of luck convincing a judge "that's not my car" when there are pictures of your car (better, pictures of you in it) and a close up of your license plate.  You would look like a crazy person, and the judge would treat you as such.

According to this page a "Red-Light" ticket isn't classified as a moving violation - it's effectively the same as a parking ticket - and you have the right to contest if you can prove (a) you received another ticket for the same violation under separate ordinance , (b) you reported the plates lost or stolen prior to the violation, (c) the vehicle was an authorized emergency vehicle or was lawfully participating in a funeral procession; (d) the facts alleged in the violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the Chicago Municipal code was violated, or (e) you were not the owner of the cited vehicle at the time of the violation. (note: paraphrased for brevity).

So the 35% of me that was not being cheeky still thinks the creation of a "Pedestrian Issued" ticket class would work from an administrative standpoint, especially if the photo taker adhered to the guidelines governing red-light tickets.  One can dream.

Kevin C 4.1 mi said:

What S said, PLUS members of this Ticket Brigade had better be prepared to clear their calendars for numerous court appearances. Photographs must also be authenticated, (typically) by a person who is familiar with the scene that was photographed providing testimony that the image "truly and accurately depicts the scene as it was at the time in question." 

[snip]

there is nothing but an empty box here.  Am I missing something????

your duncle said:

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