The Tribune found the program, which was pitched as helping protect children near parks and schools, the most prolific ticketing occurred along major thoroughfares where pedestrians are least likely to be struck by motorists. City officials refused to discuss the problems with Tribune reporters, even as they quietly worked to confront the problem after Tribune reporters began requesting public records from the City. Here were some of The Tribune's findings:
- More than 11,000 tickets were issued at hours after parks were closed for the night, according to the posted times on Chicago Park District signs or its website.
- More than 28,000 tickets were issued at cameras plagued by problems with warning signs that did not meet the minimum legal requirements. The required signs were either missing entirely, obscured by trees and construction, or so confusing that drivers could not figure out which speed limit was being enforced.
- A ticket-by-ticket review of 1,500 randomly chosen citations from school zones found no children were present in the photographic evidence for nearly a third of the cases, even though a child's presence was required. That review suggests that about 110,000 tickets may have been issued without legal justification.
- More than 62,000 school zone tickets were issued over the summer months when school activity is often so limited that drivers are left to guess whether school is in session or not. The law says tickets can be issued only "on school days," typically defined as during the regular school year. A class-action lawsuit challenging the practice was dismissed by a Cook County judge but is on appeal.