DC issued ‘unparalleled’ number of traffic tickets last year

WASHINGTON — The number of photo-enforced tickets given to drivers in the District skyrocketed during the last fiscal year to more than 1.1 million, according to new figures released Thursday by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

There were 1,101,769 photo-enforced tickets — including speed, red-light and stop-sign camera tickets — handed out in D.C. during the 2016 fiscal year. That marks a massive year-over-year increase of nearly 70 percent.

The District’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

“The bulk of those tickets were speed camera tickets,” said AAA spokesman John Townsend. “We estimate that the District issued more than one million speed camera tickets, the highest total on a yearly basis in the District’s history.”

The spike in photo-enforced citations helped push the number of overall tickets in the nation’s capital to an all-time high.

“The District issued an unparalleled number of tickets last year,” Townsend said.

Over the course of the year, drivers received a total of 2,760,482 citations. Those tickets totaled $300 million, an increase of more than $40 million when compared to the previous year.

Nearly 80,000 of the tickets were for moving violations, an increase of 6.7 percent.

Perhaps surprisingly, when it comes to parking tickets, the numbers fell. The District processed about 1.5 million parking citations, a decrease of nearly 10 percent.

“You can attribute that to the fact that more and more drivers are using the smartphone app to pay for parking,” explained Townsend.

Among all those tickets handed out, more than 700,000 went unpaid, causing the District to miss out on more than $125 million in fines.

“The biggest scofflaws live in the state of Maryland,” Townsend said.

Figures obtained by AAA show Maryland residents owed more than $55 million in unpaid tickets. Virginia residents refused to pay for about $25 million worth of tickets, and for D.C. residents, the number was nearly $24 million.

Residents from other jurisdictions owed $20 million in unpaid tickets.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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