WASHINGTON — Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration says its Vision Zero plan will help reduce traffic fatalities and make the city’s roads safer, but a new poll from AAA shows the public is not necessarily buying it.
Fifty percent of respondents believe the city is simply trying to generate more money through higher fines; 62 percent oppose the plan as it stands.
AAA opposes the plan as well.
“The District’s proposal is top-heavy with traffic fines,” says AAA spokesman John Townsend. “Two-thirds of respondents in Washington D.C. don’t think the proposed higher fines will make the city safer.”
DDOT recently solicited public comments as it continues work on Vision Zero. In addition to raising traffic fines, the plan would also create eight new ticketing offenses.
New traffic offenses include:
- $100 for speeding near a school, senior or recreation center, pool, athletic field or playground.
- $500 for failing to slow down while passing a parked emergency vehicle.
- $500 for failing to yield to a transit bus (i.e. allowing it to merge in front of your car and into traffic).
Some of the proposed increases in fines and penalties include:
- Raise fine for hitting a cyclist from $50 to $500.
- Raise fine for swinging open a parked car door into a cyclist’s path from $25 to $100.
- Raise fine for driving over a median strip, an island or safety zone from $100 to $500.
- Raise fine for failure to yield right of way to a vehicle or pedestrian from $50 to $200.
- Raise fine for speeding more than 25 miles an hour over the posted limit from $300 to $1,000.