A June 10 Chicago Tribune analysis of traffic stop data from 2012 through 2014 shows that in many suburbs, police are much more likely to ticket outsiders than residents.
In some suburbs, such as Wayne, a village in Du Page and Kane counties, out-of-towners pulled over by police for speeding are almost three times more likely than residents to get ticketed.
In virtually every Proviso Township-area suburb where the Tribune analyzed traffic stop data, outsiders were more likely to get written up than residents.
The traffic ticket ratio between outsiders and residents ranged from relatively low in area suburbs like Broadview (1.06) and Melrose Park (1.12) to fairly high in suburbs like Hillside, River Forest and Oak Park (where outsiders were nearly 1.5 times more likely to get stopped). Bellwood wasn’t included in the Tribune’s searchable database.
Those trends are reflective of a more general pattern across metro Chicago between 2012 and 2014. According to the Tribune, “Nearly 1 million people were stopped in metro Chicago for speeding from 2012 through 2014 by municipal police departments.”
Seventy-three percent of those stopped were not from the town they were stopped in. They accounted for 63 percent of those who were ticketed. Twenty-seven percent of those stopped were residents of the town they were stopped in. They accounted for 58 percent of those ticketed.
The exception, it seems, is Maywood, where outsiders were actually slightly less likely than residents to get ticketed (see the Tribune illustration below).
One defense attorney quoted in the Tribune article offered an explanation for the pattern.
“I think police officers see those drivers as easier tickets, because they won’t face any type of scrutiny over the validity of the ticket,” he said.
To read the Tribune article and search through its database of municipalities whose traffic ticket data it analyzed, click here.