Warning period ends for new D.C. speed cameras

WASHINGTON — Five new speed cameras in D.C. will go from benign to active early Friday morning.

A 30-day trial period is coming to an end, at which time drivers nabbed for speeding will get a ticket in the mail.

The locations include all but the Southwest quadrant of the District.

The new cameras are at the following locations:

  • 700 block of Maryland Avenue NE in the southwest direction. (25 mph speed limit)
  • 2400 18th Street NE in the southbound direction. (25 mph speed limit)
  • 2600 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW in the northbound direction. (25 mph speed limit)
  • 4400 block of Reservoir Road NW in the eastbound direction. (25 mph speed limit)
  • 3000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE in the northwest direction. (30 mph speed limit)

The new cameras, which officially stop issuing warnings at 12:01 a.m. Friday, are part of the rapid growth of automated traffic cameras in D.C.

Since January 2014, 66 new cameras have come online.

“Drivers have a sneaky suspicion that this is all about revenue,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend.

“Since 2001 when the speed camera program was implemented, the District has reaped nearly a $500 million in revenue,” he says.

He acknowledges in theory and in practice the cameras have slowed down drivers to make the streets safer.

“The cameras are slowing people down, but at the same time, they are earning millions and millions of dollars for the city,” he says.

“The city government has become dependent upon the revenue.”

The number of citations in recent years had been in decline, as drivers adjusted to the cameras’ locations and slowed down accordingly.

But with new automated cameras regularly being installed, the number of camera tickets is on the rise again.

At the current pace, automated cameras will result in more than 400,000 tickets this fiscal year, up from 282,021 in the previous year.

Below is a map with the locations of the cameras:

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