Maryland drivers receive the bulk of the citations every month from the District’s automated traffic-enforcement system, which has generated more than $135 million in fines since 1999.
More than 64 percent of drivers cited last month were from Maryland, as the District’s automated speed-enforcement program collected $2.8 million in fines, statistics compiled by the Metropolitan Police Department show.
About 20 percent of violators were from the District, while drivers from Virginia made up 9 percent of the total, statistics show. Drivers from other states made up about 7 percent of the violators.
Meanwhile, the percentage of speeding motorists is the lowest in the program’s history. Statistics show that 2 percent of the 2,735,983 motorists monitored in the District were caught speeding last month — the lowest percentage since the speed cameras were introduced in 2001.
Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said commuters and out-of-towners are not disproportionately cited.
“Maryland drivers are not targeted — it is what it is,” Chief Ramsey said. “All people have to obey our laws. Automated systems don’t discriminate.”
John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA’s Mid-Atlantic region, disagreed, saying the program “smacks of deliberately targeting Maryland commuters.”
“It does indeed discriminate, because most of the major commuter routes are targeted,” Mr. Townsend said. “While we agree that automated enforcement is a viable approach to curbing speeding, more equity is needed.”
A ticket for a red-light violation in the District carries a $75 fine, and speeding violations can cost as much as $200, depending on how fast the motorist is driving, according to the police department.
Since the program’s inception, the District has collected an average of $1.83 for each of the 54,708,779 vehicles that have passed through the zones.
Motorists who don’t live in the District routinely receive most of the speeding tickets — particularly Maryland drivers, who account for about 55 percent to 65 percent of violations every month.
“When 65 percent of those citations are from a particular jurisdiction, it creates in the public mind the notion of a carefully crafted commuter tax,” Mr. Townsend said. “Marylanders are at the mercy of the city.”
Of the 34 zones monitored by speeding cameras last month, 11 were located near New York Avenue Northeast, the Anacostia Freeway or the D.C.-Maryland border — routes used primarily by commuters.
A stationary camera in the 600 block of New York Avenue Northeast — activated in October — generated the most citations last month, catching more than 12,000 violators. At the minimum fine of $30, the location generated at least $360,000 last month.
In November, AAA designated the District as a “strict enforcement area” — the first time in the organization’s 105-year history that an entire city received the label.View Entire Story
Tarron Lively is the deputy editor of the Continuous News Desk.
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