Emanuel responds to TV report, says motorcade will obey traffic laws
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter May 7, 2014 3:42PM
The SUV and tail car that whisk Rahm Emanuel around Chicago have racked up about $400 in unpaid parking tickets, and also have been caught on camera speeding and running through red lights, according to a TV news report. | Sun-Times File Photo
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he’s ordered his police bodyguards to slow down and stop running red lights after two vehicles in the mayor’s motorcade were caught on camera speeding and blowing through stoplights.
“As soon as I saw that or heard about the story, I said, ‘Look. Follow the law. Nobody’s above the law. Slow down. Period. Non-stop,’” the mayor said.
Emanuel stayed on message when told the black SUV and tail car that whisk him across the city have $400 in unpaid parking tickets that make the vehicles eligible for the wheel-locking Denver boot.
“You have exactly what I said. They’ll look into it and make sure, if there’s a security situation. But, if there isn’t, they have to deal with that, slow down. Nobody’s above the law. Obey the law. Period. Full-stop.”
The investigative team at WLS-TV Channel 7 checked the license plates of Emanuel’s SUV and tail car and found nearly two dozen instances in which the mayor’s motorcade was caught on camera either speeding near schools and parks or running red lights.
Unlike everyday Chicagoans, the tickets were non-suited, the administrative term for dismissed. None of the $1,700 in fines were paid. No boots were applied.
Emanuel has insisted that speed cameras were installed to protect children — not raise sorely-needed revenue. But, that didn’t stop him from counting on $130 million in revenue from speed cameras and red-light cameras to balance his 2014 budget.
The mayor is well aware of how hypocritical it looks to be throwing the book at motorists while having his security detail speed across the city and blow through red lights with impunity.
Which is why he appeared embarrassed as he answered questions about the controversy with as few words as possible.