Monday, January 5, 2009

Speed camera controversy in D.C.

I suggested using speed cameras for revenue in this post:

It seems so obvious to me

Whell, catching up on some old news, speed cameras are a mild controversy in Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, according to WTOP Radio:

AAA: Get rid of money-making speed cameras

Part II

This is from Part II:

" "In that area, it is a divided highway -- there are no more pedestrians, there are no more traffic lights, you are headed out of Washington, and right there the speed limit is 40 miles per hour. But go a little farther and it is 55 miles per hour," Anderson says. "It makes no sense unless you want to make lots and lots of money."

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier tells WTOP the camera along New York Avenue is in place for traffic safety reasons and is designed to reduce speeding.

"Bottom line: don't break the law and you don't get a ticket."

D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., (Ward 5), whose district includes New York Avenue, spread a similar message.

"If a driver starts picking up speed before Route 50 or the BW Parkway, that may be an indication how the driver is going to travel down that road," Thomas says. "I haven't heard a lot of complaining about that device, in fact, folks say traffic calming measures are needed more in areas."

Unlike Montgomery County, the District does not tell drivers how many mph above the posted speed limit they have to be traveling in order to get their picture taken by a speed camera. If a drivers gets a fine from a speed camera in the city, it can range up to $200, depending on how fast the driver is going.

That's exactly my plan! Make money on speeders! Use the money from speeders on infrastructure! OR: more likely, after getting hit with a few speeding fines, the speeders will start to slow down pretty drastically (especially in this economy). Result: safer roads, less money spent on useless patrol car radar speed enforcement (which is clearly ONLY a revenue device, because it has no deterrent effect whatsoever), less traumatic crashes, less use of Medevacs that sometimes crash and accidentally kill the people they're trying to save -- overall, either you get revenue or you save revenue with substantial deployment of mobile speed cameras.

OHHHH, I know I'd get nailed too. It's just too tempting to go over the speed limit on Route 4 or Route 4&2 (look at a map and see what I mean) trying to get anywhere in this county. But of course, they aren't interstates, so they wouldn't be big revenue streams. I'm safe (for now).

Anderson says more oversight of the program is needed.

"AAA wants these cameras in use for safety purposes, but when you put them in places like New York Avenue, across from the National Arboretum, where you are making tons of money and doing absolutely nothing for safety, you are just picking motorists pockets."

Lon, you're picking the pockets mostly of motorists who are A) breaking the law and possibly B) dangerous aggressive drivers.

Where's the problem?

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