- Algerian airplane goes missing over Mali: ‘Emergency plan’ launched
- Colorado judge strikes voter-backed gay marriage ban, but issues stay
- Brooklyn Bridge flag-swapping suspects identified by nickname
- Christian woman in Sudan spared for apostasy flies to Italy
- Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
D.C. task force to evaluate traffic-camera fines
Question of the Day
A new D.C. Council task force will evaluate hefty fines levied on motorists caught by speed cameras and other forms of automated traffic enforcement, a controversial and expanding system that has some wondering if city leaders care more about revenue than public safety.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray inserted a revenue provision in his fiscal 2013 budget that expands the use of automated enforcement, installing cameras in tunnels and at intersections to catch drivers who try to beat red lights. The measure was among a series of initiatives designed to ensure a balanced budget.
Although Mr. Gray cited public safety as the catalyst for his decision, many residents are wondering if fines of up to $150 are commensurate with the infractions.
Council members Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, and Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, will lead the task force when it meets for the first time on Tuesday at the John A. Wilson Building. The panel includes a diverse selection of experts on bicycle and pedestrian safety and representatives of AAA Mid-Atlantic and AARP D.C.
Ms. Cheh said the impetus to create a task force “came from a number of things.” Mainly, she and other lawmakers heard complaints from constituents about the severity of the fines and about speed-camera locations.
“They link that with the motives of the government,” she said. “That it’s not really about speeding … it’s really about revenue-raising.”
Ms. Cheh said she favors a tougher approach to motorists who run red lights — deeming that “inherently dangerous” — than to those who go a few too many miles per hour over the speed limit.
The task force is expected to examine the effect automated enforcement has on driving habits and public safety. Members will put together recommendations this fall, which the co-chairmen will use to write legislation to put before the council.
Ms. Cheh acknowledged the November elections could lead to some “political calculations” during debate, since incumbents running for re-election may not want to appear soft on public safety.
“It’s silly season,” she said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Contrasting judgments on Obama's health care hours apart; appeals court calls subsidies unlawful
- Insurers cough up refunds to subscribers under Obamacare ‘80-20 rule’
- New Democratic caucus will pressure GOP governors to expand Medicaid
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- EDITORIAL: Poor Hillary, rock-star wannabe
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Hezbollah in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- FIELDS: A tale of a boy, a Bible and a gun
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq