WASHINGTON – D.C. police are placing speed cameras at nine new locations in the nation’s capital this week.
Beginning Monday, cameras were placed in locations police say have a high number of crashes and injuries, calls for service and high speed volume. The department says it also considered location requests from transportation officials and civic associations.
Speeders caught by the cameras Monday through Dec. 21 will receive warning citations, police say. Beginning Dec. 21, tickets will be issued.
Police also added 19 camera locations in September. Adding the new sites was sharply criticized by AAA Mid-Atlantic, which contends the city aims to bring in additional revenue with the devices.
The group says the city’s speed camera program brought in $43.1 million in revenue while issuing 533,000 tickets in fiscal 2010, and netted $30.3 million in revenue in the first seven months of fiscal 2011.
“One would think that traffic safety in the city must be going south with this infusion of new camera sites, or the city’s coffers desperately need replenishing,” AAA spokesman Lon Anderson says in a press release on the program’s expansion. “So, if traffic safety isn’t the issue, we must conclude that the city is more concerned that the $43 million netted last fiscal year in automated speeding enforcement was insufficient.”
In her own statement, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier touted the District’s success in reducing traffic fatalities and credited the speed camera program as a contributor to the effort. The District saw a record-low 25 traffic fatalities last year.
“I find it astounding that AAA Mid-Atlantic would criticize a program that has been successful in reducing traffic deaths,” Lanier says. “Additionally, we constantly receive requests from residents and Councilmembers for increased enforcement in their neighborhoods and we move our resources to new sites to accommodate those requests and reduce speeding, fatalities and crashes.”