February 20, 2013

Each of DC's traffic spy cameras made an average of $250,000 in January

Washington Examiner - District reported that it collected nearly $26 million last month from its controversial automated enforcement network.

Preliminary data from the city's chief financial officer showed the District took in slightly less than $25.8 million in January from its nearly 100 cameras.

That was a 113 percent increase from January 2012, when the city logged about $12 million in revenues from its camera system.

"It's amazing that they dislike motorists so much," said Lon Anderson, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, a frequent critic of the cameras. "Taking this kind of money from motorists, you'd think they'd love them."

At-large Councilman Vincent Orange unveiled a proposal that would require the District Department of Transportation to match a "recognized national standard" for the length of yellow lights -- which the city says it already does.

"The issue here is just making sure that the revenue we're generating from these traffic cameras is fair and that we're not manipulating the traffic signals to generate revenue," Orange said. "It's about safety and making sure that it's uniform and that we're not using our traffic signals to create cash cows."

But DDOT spokeswoman Monica Hernandez said the city already uses guidelines from the Institute of Transportation Engineers to set the intervals for yellow lights in D.C., along with supplemental rules that are more generous to drivers.

Hernandez also said every traffic light in the District has a minimum yellow interval of four seconds.

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