City says the law isn't about money

Many cities and states around the country have laws on the books that prohibit texting while driving or making a phone calls while driving without using a hands-free device. Some of the fines for things like texting while driving are hard to enforce since it can often be hard to see the driver using a phone to text.
In the city of Chicago, the fines for driving and talking on a phone without a hands-free device can cost the driver up to $500. Police in Chicago are issues hoards of tickets to drivers who disobey this law. The number of tickets issued is up 73% for driving and using a phone since 2006 when the hands free law first went into effect.
The number of tickets issued for using a mobile phone and driving in Chicago totaled 23,292 in a single year. The way the tickets for the offence are handled means that the city doesn't have to share the money with the county or state so all the revenue from fines goes into city coffers. In 2010, the money from the cell phone tickets added $2.2 million to the city's bottom line.
The Chicago Tribune quotes one driver ticketed for using a mobile phone named Alvin Wooten as saying, "It's pay short money now or pay long money later." He was referring to paying the smaller fine or risking the loss of an appeal in court and having to pay more. Wooten was stopped twice in one month for talking on the phone without an accompanying hands-free device. 
Wooten says he was using the phone on speaker but the officer, the same in both cases, ticketed him anyway. The county can't be happy that Chicago is handling the cases as ordinance violations and gets to keep all the fine proceeds. The result is a loss of about $858,000 in revenue for the county in 2010.
The city says, however, that the hands-free law is not about revenue.
While Chicago has gone on a ticket-giving rampage, similar measures in North Carolina haven’t proven to be as fruitful.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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