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Speed cameras continuing to plague D.C. drivers

From New York to Los Angeles, drivers in any big city are accustomed to dealing with certain realities while navigating their respective streets. One of these realities is that at some moment they will take their eyes off the speedometer and find themselves being handed a speeding ticket by a police officer.

Interestingly, statistics show that speeding tickets may be more than just a simple reality in one big U.S. city, but rather a way of life.

According to officials in Washington, D.C., traffic fines brought in a total of $178.4 million to the city's coffers during the last fiscal year. Of this $178.4 million, exactly $84.9 million was generated by so-called camera enforcement, meaning red light cameras and speed cameras.

Similar data reveals that during all of fiscal year 2011 and the first 11 months of fiscal year 2012 ending in September, these D.C. speeding cameras issued $41.6 million in speeding tickets to 423,783 motorists.

As if these numbers aren't incredible enough, consider that during a 23-month span ending in August, a lone speed camera located on D.C.'s New York Avenue issued $11.6 million in speeding tickets to 116,734 motorists.

Understandably, figures like these serve to enrage many motorists who view it as nothing more than a backdoor commuter tax designed to generate revenue for the cash-strapped city.

City safety officials, however, urge that this is simply not the case, and point to the obvious safety benefits

"We believe we have made an impact," said a spokesperson for the D.C. Police Department. "There have been 16 fatalities in 2012, compared to 28 at this time last year, for a 43 percent reduction of traffic fatalities. There is great value in slowing drivers down not only for their own safety, but also for safety of all other traveling parties."

It remains to be seen whether D.C. will increase actually increase the number of its speed cameras and/or whether area motorists will slow down.

What are your thoughts on these speed cameras?

Stay tuned updates for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket or traffic citation, don't just dismiss it.

Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Washington Post, "Single District speed camera: 116,734 tickets worth $11.6 million," Ashley Halsey III, Oct. 23, 2012

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