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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: D.C. traffic-camera purpose cash, not safety

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If justice prevails, Washington will have to refund all $1,814,150 collected on the 14,167 defective citations issued in the Third Street Tunnel, as highlighted by Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson ("Shot with own speed camera, D.C. cop fires back," Web, Tuesday). If justice truly prevails, the city will have to refund more than $10 million collected on more than 100,000 defective citations due to other errors that invalidate the citations.

John B. Townsend II of AAA Mid-Atlantic is correct that issues like this make the public highly suspicious of automated traffic programs. If logic and common sense were to prevail at AAA Mid-Atlantic, Mr. Townsend and AAA Mid-Atlantic would be campaigning to end all of the city's automated traffic programs. There has been enough exposure of under-posted speed limits and too-short yellow intervals on lights to expose the fact that all Washington cares about is the roughly $100 million it intends to confiscate with automated traffic programs in 2013. Cash is the only purpose and the only real goal for the programs in the city. Safety, fairness, integrity and accuracy play no part in the establishment of traffic enforcement programs in Washington.

The levels of profit Washington enjoys with its automated traffic programs can only be achieved with deliberately faulty traffic-safety engineering designed to maximize ticket revenue rather than safety.

JAMES C. WALKER

Executive director, National Motorists Association Foundation

Ann Arbor, Mich.

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