Thursday, September 8, 2011

DC Getting 19 New Speed Cameras

DC police have activated 19 new speed camera sites in the District along major commuter routes.  The new locations are:
  • 1900 block of Independence Avenue SE east bound - speed limit 25 mph
  • Military Road 0.2 miles west of the 16th Street ramp NW southwest bound - speed limit 35 mph
  • Military Road 0.1 miles prior to 17th Street NW northeast bound - speed limit 35 mph
  • 1700 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE northeast bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 1800 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE southwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 4000 block of East Capitol Street NE west bound - speed limit 35 mph
  • 4000 block of East Capitol Street SE east bound - speed limit 35 mph
  • 800 block of Ridge Road SE southeast bound - speed limit 25 mph
  • 600 block of Southern Avenue SE southwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 1400 block of Southern Avenue SE southwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 1900 block of Branch Avenue SE north bound - speed limit 25 mph
  • 1900 block of Branch Avenue SE south bound - speed limit 25 mph
  • 1100 block of Bladensburg Road NE northeast bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 1100 block of Bladensburg Road NE southwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 200 block of 19th Street SE north bound - speed limit 25 mph
  • 4800 block of Connecticut Avenue NW northwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 4900 block of Connecticut Avenue NW southeast bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 600 block of Missouri Avenue NW northwest bound - speed limit 30 mph
  • 600 block of Missouri Avenue NW southeast bound - speed limit 30 mph
A 30 day 'warning period' began Sept 1 in order to alert local drivers to the new cameras before they begin ticketing out of town drivers in earnest.  Unlike Maryland, the District does not specifically state any 'threshold' over the speed limit above which tickets are issued, so technically they could issue tickets for 1mph over in order to meet whatever revenue goals they have. 

The nation's capital has one of the most extensive photo enforcement systems in the world, which includes not only numerous speed cameras and red light cameras, but also cameras deployed on street sweepers to enforce parking violations, and last year new cameras for enforcing violations such as 'blocking the box', 'rolling right turns' and stopping slightly past the white line.   TheNewspaper.com reports that as of 5/30/2010 DC's ticket cameras had issued $312million worth of tickets since the program's inception.  District red light and speed cameras issued approximately $50million worth of tickets in FY11 alone.

Is it "for safety" or "Municipal Extortion" (as one Washington Post writer recently put it)?  You decide.