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D.C. Considers Higher Fines for Drivers

Fines for drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians crossing legally would be significantly boosted under a proposal before the D.C. Council.

Right now, the fine is $50 and no points on the driver's license. That's not providing much protection for pedestrians legally crossing the street, said Council Member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) at a Monday meeting of the Committee on Pubic Works and the Environment, which he chairs.

The proposal, approved unanimously by the committee and sent to the full council, would increase the fine to $250 and three points on the license. Hit the pedestrian, and the fine goes to $500 and six points.

Council Member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), sponsor of the measure, said she has "no illusion about this being a silver bullet, but it's a critical piece" in improving pedestrian safety in the city.

The District's traffic control officers would be authorized to write tickets for failure ot yield. Signs would be posted at the District's borders and elsewhere warning drivers of the higher fines.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 15, 2008; 6:38 AM ET
Categories:  Safety  
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