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District adding mobile speed cams

D.C. police are adding new mobile speed cameras in Southeast and Northeast Washington, according to a recent police statement.

An "educational phase" began on July 12, and drivers have until Aug. 11 before citations are issued, the statement said.

New mobile radar locations
-- 3500 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE (North)
-- 3500 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE (South)
-- 1400 Alabama Ave. SE (East)
-- 1400 Alabama Ave. SE (West).
-- 5200 Southern Ave. SE (South)
-- 3100 North Capitol St. NE (North).
-- 295 at Exit 1 SW (South)
-- 4100 South Dakota Ave. NE (North).
-- Suitland Pkwy SE (.9m south of Stanton Road eastbound)
-- Suitland Pkwy SE (.2m south of Stanton Road westbound)

New work zone camera locations
-- I-295 at Eastern Avenue NE (North)
-- I-295 at Eastern Avenue NE (South)

According to current data from police, 354,000 drivers have received violation notices through May of this year. That's more than the 326,000 who received tickets in the same period in 2009. According to police records, the District has raised $24.8 million in speed-camera revenue in the current fiscal year, compared with $33.7 million in fiscal 2009 and $20.9 million in fiscal 2008.

District radar activity | Map of camera locations (excludes new ones)

By Michael Bolden  | July 20, 2010; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting, District, Transportation Politics  
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Well, I guess those 12 new speed cams will help them make a dent in their budget shortfall.

Rule of local governments around here: If you lack the discipline to get spending under control, put in a bunch of traffic cams and pretend you're making people safe.

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | July 20, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

this is such a blatant drive to raise money all under the guise of safety. what drives me nuts is that not only will they put in these cameras (which all happen to be in NE and SE and not NW, hmmm, wonder why?), but they then drop the speed limit to some absurd number so people get caught more easily. There are cameras on NY Ave coming into the city, 3 lane highway where the speed limit is an absurd 35 MPH. Anyone who thinks that is fine, I challenge them to drive 35 MPH at 6:00 pm entering the city, and tell me if you feel safe as other cars fly past you or worse, fly up in your rear-view mirror and slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you.
Not to mention, how do we know these cameras work? Just because Dc Gvt says so? Didn't we just hear about a problem with the breathalyzers? Or, I got a ticket in the mail for going through a red light at NY and 4th Street - only the photo clearly showed the light was green. I challenged and won, but it just shows that these cameras don't always work. What if the ticket said I was speeding? how could I challenge that?

Posted by: bmiller33 | July 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Most of these cameras are stratigically place to catch Maryland drivers. Okay Steny Hoyer, and Donna Edwards, we didn't elect you guys to be the de facto voting congressmen for the District of Columbia. Its time to step up and represent the intersest of your constituency and at least say something about the impact of this latest DC money grab on the citizens of Maryland.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | July 20, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The map you have seems way off from reality. There are cameras at CT Ave and Nebraska, CT and Military, on Military just west of the park, but they don't show on your map. The one you show at the upper end of 16th St NW is non-existent, but would be welcomed by DC residents. I could see adding a good dozen more cameras to continue calming traffic.

Posted by: blankspace | July 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I actually don't have a problem with speed cameras; if you're disobeying the law, you should get a ticket. I got one once, for going 60 in a 50 zone on 295... I was the slowest car on the road, but still, I was speeding.

The problem I have is with the camera on 395 in the 3rd Street Tunnel. The speed limit is 45 but cars regularly slow down into the mid-to-low 30s, causing dangerous driving conditions for others, like me, who would just like to go a normal-- legal --speed. There should be a "hey buddy, you're driving terribly" camera put in as well, to catch these people (who then usually speed off at 60+ towards downtown.

Posted by: Elnok | July 20, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and BMiller? The speed cameras may be up to catch those in NE and SE, but that's because those are the places you actually can get to some significant rate of speed. Try speeding through Georgetown some time.

I'm willing to bet the parking restrictions are much more heavy-handed in NW and SW, so I guess W and E are even in the long run.

Posted by: Elnok | July 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The residents where these cameras are set up won't get the tickets because they 1. won't pay them 2. they don't commute in a hurry to work. they collect welfare and complain.

the district of criminals: still screwing people in 2010.

Posted by: FiatBooks | July 20, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Educational phase" my a**. I just got a $150 ticket for 3100 N Capitol St.!!!!

Posted by: kathrinehenry | July 20, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone's really trying to cover up the fact that speed cameras are primarily for revenue generation. I consider it no more than a bonus that to some extent their presence encourages people to drive at safer speeds, if only for a short distance.

But think about it: you really do have a say over whether or not you contribute to this growing revenue stream... You can simply choose to follow the speed limit, and suffer no additional financial burden, or you can continue ignoring the laws of this land, at which point I have no further sympathy for you.

I find it a much more preferrable way of paying for government services, instead of being punished, say, for merely living in the wrong county (i.e. MontCo).

Posted by: HydroxCookies | July 20, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"I actually don't have a problem with speed cameras; if you're disobeying the law, you should get a ticket. I got one once, for going 60 in a 50 zone on 295... I was the slowest car on the road, but still, I was speeding."

I'll quibble with that because 50 mph is way too low of a speed limit on I-295, at least on the part to the south of the Suitland Parkway/Douglass Bridge interchange. Setting up cameras to enforce blatantly unreasonable speed limits is a very obnoxious thing to do. "Speeding" may be defined as "going faster than the number on the sign," but we all know that the numbers on the signs are often absurdly and unreasonably low and that it's far safer to ignore the number so as to avoid impeding traffic. Does anyone really think safety is improved when 95% of the drivers on the road have to hit their brakes because the photo-cop is sitting out there? (And don't tell me "they should slow down"....when 95% of the cars on the road are exceeding the posted speed limit, the limit is too low. Period. Look up "85th percentile rule" if you want more info.)

I'm not a fan of camera enforcement in general, but I have less of a problem with the concept in a work zone where work is actually being performed, such as the Eastern Avenue overpass or the area where the ramps are going up for the new 11th Street Bridges. I say "where work is actually being performed" in recognition of the problem that many jurisdictions impose higher fines in work zones but then designate several miles on either side of the actual work area as "work zones," apparently for the sole purpose of collecting the higher fines.

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Tell you what WDC'll like what we help you with...or else!!..government, rather that speed cameras..just have your highway men (not highway Patrolmen) pull us over, stick a gun in our face and say, "Stand and Deliver." At least that we can understand...this...robots taking your liberties away...we can't.

Oh I forgot...this is DC...they can defy the Supreme Court on the 2nd Amendment and tax you to death whenever they want.

Posted by: wjc1va | July 20, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Understand this:

"Don't tax you.

Don't tax me.

Tax the reckless outlaw.

Behind the tree."

The speeder.

The key is in his foot.

Posted by: gary4books | July 20, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

that's good, people drive way too fast. and speed cameras will only send out the tickets if the driver is driving 11 mph over, which is well enough over the speed limit to make the road considerably more dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. PLUS the drivers in the area have a period of warning so this is a fair addition to the roads and will help ensure safety

Posted by: booklover33 | July 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that fines just went up 150% for the 11-15 mph over. Revenues will be through the roof, especially with adding new cameras.

Anyone who thinks that going 46 mph on NY Ave is "way too fast" should probably not be driving. Being hit with a $125 fine for doing so is just ludicrous.

The number of tickets issued (shown on the link near this article) is on track to be over 500,000 which is approaching a ticket for every resident in DC. Either we have a lot of "criminals" or the tickets issued are probably not very just.

Posted by: gluv123 | July 20, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness these cameras are going up. People in the district seem to think it's ok to drive like maniacs, especially along North Capitol for some reason. After a few tickets, hopefully they'll change their habits on the road.

Posted by: ChicaInTheDMV | July 20, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

just making the locations of these systems in this article will make them more affective.

Right on.

Posted by: gordon514 | July 20, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I commute on North Capitol Street. There's a stretch of road between Harewood and Michigan that doesn't have any stoplights or residents, for that matter. People do gain speed, especially southbound during the morning rush, because it's downhill. A few weeks ago, two "cutouts" were paved over on the side of the road, one southbound and one northbound right near the Irving Street overpass. Now, in the mornings, there's an unmarked car sitting in the southbound side with a radar gun in the passenger seat. As you can probably guess, the car is positioned at the bottom of the hill and around the curve, the best to hide its position from drivers. You can see the cop sitting there reading the newspaper as you drive by.

Nice to know that in a city with the crime rate we have, MPD has the cash to pay an officer to sit and read the newspaper while trying to catch commuters speeding on a section of the road WHERE THERE ARE NO RESIDENTS OR CROSSWALKS.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

There is a lot of talk about cameras coming in to fix budget holes, no I disagree. This gives our police leeway to focus efforts in other areas and does actually do much for safety of intersections.

Posted by: YoDave | July 20, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip, they have already been reported into the Apple Trapster App.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 20, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Fine by me. So much of DC's traffic is caused by idiots causing accidents or just blatantly blocking an intersection after the light has turned red. hope this changes the overall habits of all least a little.

Posted by: wilson78 | July 20, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Bring 'em on! I don't speed (or run red lights) so what do I have to fear from a camera? It doesn't matter to me if the traffic laws are enforced by a street cop or a camera as long as the enforcement is fair and the coverage is as complete as possible and I'm sure no number of street cops can ever match the 24/7 coverage we get from cameras.

Posted by: estuartj | July 20, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

DC Sucks.

Posted by: mdpilot | July 20, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Perfect, People drive like idiots around here. They have been very effective in other areas. Looking forward to them working here! If you don't break the law then you have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: dq1153 | July 21, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Keep giving them tickets until they learn not to speed!

Posted by: beatduke10 | July 21, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Another reason to continue to avoid visiting the district or spending any money there. If my car is not welcome, or if you are looking to impose some thinly veiled commuter tax on me that I as an out of town driver have no practical way to challenge, then I'm not coming.

Earlier this year Baltimore got busted for running a machine configured with the wrong speed limit for weeks, sending out hundreds of invalid tickets. Remember when the Post reported on a driver who got a MD ticket for going 100mph when they were not speeding? Remember the DC breathalyzer scandal, if they did that then what makes you think these cameras are calibrated correctly? Anyone who thinks they can just say 'don't speed and you won't get a ticket' just doesn't fully understand the situation.

Posted by: afpre42 | July 21, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

The cameras are great! They are very effective in many cities across the United States.

Posted by: arlingtonchic56 | July 21, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Honestly- you have to be an idiot to get a ticket since all of the locations are available in this article! People that usually get nabbed are not paying attention- hopefully a ticket would be a wakeup call- literally.

Posted by: Jooners1 | July 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

really - how much easier can you make it for the bad drivers - giving them the exact locations and alerting them to the grace period. after that, change your bad driving ways or else.

Posted by: YumYum1 | July 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't see anything wrong with giving the locations of the speed cameras. If the drivers slow down and don't get a ticket, the goal of making the streets safer for drivers and pedestrians has been met.

Posted by: RobertM468 | July 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The cameras have been a great tool used to make people more aware on the road, and to slow down a little bit. Just go the speed limit and you will be bale to keep your money in your pocket.

Posted by: arlingtonchic56 | July 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit disappointed. The speed cameras at 14th and Alabama SE aren't going to help pedestrians cross the street. What we need is a light, now that it's a busy area with the new Giant, IHOP, and townhomes. However, a stoplight doesn't collect revenue. So pedestrians trying to cross Alabama will continue to play dodge 'em with drivers, but the city will collect some money. Not really a solution for the residents of the area. I guess someone will actually have to get hit.

Posted by: dclioness1 | July 27, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

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