D.C. police move to hire auditor in speed camera inquiry

WASHINGTON — Major problems with D.C.’s speed camera program were exposed by financial projections, and now the police department is moving to hire an independent auditor to solve the camera problems.

At a D.C. Council oversight hearing Tuesday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the Metropolitan Police Department finalized a request for proposals for an independent auditor to review the entire speed camera program from top to bottom.

The number of tickets issued in 2014, and the amount of money the District raked in, dropped sharply from expected numbers. A debate began over what caused the decrease.

Lanier says the issues include significant downtime because of snow last year, which slows people down and also creates maintenance problems for the cameras. Also, she blames battery problems on some stop sign and other new cameras, transmission woes that blocked cameras from sending violations back to the central office, and problems integrating the system with tickets issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I can’t answer exactly where the problems were,” Lanier said, adding that she hopes the auditor will be able to keep the problems from happening again.

She says the department has fixed the problems they can, and that all cameras active on the roads right now are working properly.

Other new cameras will be added in the near future, but Lanier says some have been delayed because the areas where they were intended to go were found not to have the consistent speeding problems found in earlier surveys.

“So some of the delay in putting cameras out is, I want to make sure [that] where I put them, there’s actually a public-safety nexus. That there’s actually people that are speeding and creating a problem, or it’s right near an elementary school where we have real issues with pedestrians being in danger,” Lanier says.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up