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Traffic fines may be cut in District

Thursday - 11/29/2012, 6:21am  ET

WASHINGTON - Fines for speeding and other traffic offenses in the District may soon be slashed, in part due to public anger at current penalties.

The Judiciary Committee of the D.C Council is set to vote Thursday on a proposal that would, in some cases, cut the present fines in half.

The fine for going 11 mph to 15 mph over the speed limit would drop to $75, while the fine for traveling 16 mph to 20 mph over the limit would be reduced to $150, according to The Washington Post.

The Judiciary Committee report states public support is essential if the District's enforcement camera program will be expanded.

"As long as the public continued to perceive the program as primarily a revenue- generating tool, them this support will be illusory," states the report.

The District brought in $178 million in traffic fines in fiscal 2012, a 32-percent jump from 2011 and a 62 percent leap from 2010.

The proposed lower fines would cost D.C. tens of millions of dollars.

The new fines would apply to tickets written by police officers, in addition to camera fines.

Mayor Vincent Gray recently signed an executive order to lower fines, but the council says Gray's cuts "are not substantial enough."

If the proposed cuts pass the Judiciary Committee, they would have to be approved by the full council.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein contributed to this story. Follow @AugensteinWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)