CHICAGO — Two aldermen have proposed an ordinance that would allow drivers to fight "unfair" tickets for failing to display their city sticker — if they have proof one was already purchased.
The proposal from aldermen Ed Burke (14th) and Mary O'Connor would allow drivers to avoid fines of $200 if the driver can show a hearing officer that a sticker was already purchased but simply wasn't displayed. Under the current law, failing to affix the sticker to a car's windshield wasn't enough to get a ticket thrown out.
"Fair is fair," O'Connor said in a statement. "If you have paid the wheel tax and have a city sticker you should not end up on the hook for $200."
The proposal wouldn't prevent tickets, but would allow drivers to claim having bought the sticker on time as a "valid defense." Currently there are only seven defenses, which are listed on all parking tickets, that can be used to fight a parking ticket.
Ultimately, though, the hearing officer will still decide whether the ticket is valid.
O'Connor teamed up with Burke on the proposal, after reading a Sun-Times story about a Norwood Park woman who got hit with a ticket even though she claimed one was displayed on her windshield. Her ticket was eventually thrown out.
But as Burke noted, "not all Chicagoans are so lucky and the aldermen argue that it is time for the City Council to change the municipal code."
The proposal was sent to the City Council's Committee on Finance for consideration.