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Speed Camera Keeps Ticketing This Teacher's Parked Car

By Darryl Holliday | February 12, 2015 8:37am
 Jennefa Krupinski has the photo proof to back up her claim: four speed camera photos issued to her since June show her car parked outside of her home in the 3100 block of West Augusta Boulevard, each triggered by a random speeding car — but each costing her $100.
Jennefa Krupinski has the photo proof to back up her claim: four speed camera photos issued to her since June show her car parked outside of her home in the 3100 block of West Augusta Boulevard, each triggered by a random speeding car — but each costing her $100.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

HUMBOLDT PARK — A Chicago speed camera already cited for ticketing parked cars in 2013 has struck again, ticketing one Humboldt Park woman four times without cause.

Jennefa Krupinski has the photo proof to back up her claim: four speed camera photos issued to her since June show her car parked outside of her home in the 3100 block of West Augusta Boulevard, each triggered by a random speeding car — but each costing her $100.

“Aside from the fact that it flashes in my living room, [the speed camera] has given me tickets three times. I'm in a pickle about this,” she said Wednesday, noting that a fourth ticket issued her a warning. “It's clear that my car is parked, but the first two tickets I got, I had to pay.”

That’s because Krupinski, an assistant teacher at Suder Montessori Magnet School, was applying for a job within Chicago Public Schools at the time and would have been ineligible for the job if any pending violations were on her record.

She paid the first two at a cost of $200, she said, but the tickets for her parked car kept coming.

Despite putting in calls to the city and her local alderman, it wasn’t until DNAinfo Chicago called the Department of Transportation that her tickets were dismissed.

“Human error led to these four citations being sent out," said Michael Claffey, a CDOT spokesman. "All four citations have been dismissed, and we are already in the process of refunding the two tickets that were paid."

The American Traffic Solutions camera remains on site more than a year after it was cited for improperly issuing tickets in a separate incident, according to a Chicago Tribune report from November 2013.

In that report, a spokesman for the private speed camera vendor, Charles Territo, vowed to “make sure it doesn't happen again.”

But American Traffic Solutions did let it happen again. This week, the company declined to comment on the four tickets issued to Krupinski despite wrongly issuing them in August, September and December of 2014.

The city ordered the camera temporarily shut down Wednesday, Claffey said.

“While this issue is isolated to a few instances of human error at this particular camera location, we have made it clear to the vendor that this is completely unacceptable. We expect them to take all steps necessary to ensure this does not happen again. In the short term, we have instructed the vendor to turn off this specific camera and conduct a thorough review of this location,” Claffey said of American Traffic Solutions' handling of the Humboldt Park camera.

According to city officials, the lane in which the violation occurred was not properly verified by human reviewers, as is required by state law, leading to Krupinski's parked car being ticketed for several moving violations.

Since learning of Krupinski’s case, the city has reviewed prior appealed cases at her location — of the 100 cases appealed, only 3 were issued in error, officials said.

A thorough review of every citation at the site is underway, and American Traffic Solutions has been ordered to review the placement of the Humboldt Park camera to assess whether the placement played a role in the errors, officials added.

As for Krupinski, the news comes as a relief — but she worries that other law-abiding residents could be ticketed in error.

“Having the camera removed would be spectacular,” she said. “If you’re a good citizen and you don’t research [the tickets], you could be paying for a ticket that you didn’t deserve.”

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