D.C. next generation traffic cameras set to go live

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One hundred new traffic enforcement cameras will begin issuing tickets to motorists in the District on Saturday, following a month delay in the start of the program.

The cameras will target a new range of traffic violations ranging from blocking the box to failure to stop at a stop sign.

The Metropolitan Police Department initially installed the cameras in November and planned to issue warning tickets for only a month. However, the rollout did not go as planned and police extended the warning ticket period through the end of January.

“The extension of the warning period was to allow more public notification of the new equipment so they would have the greatest opportunity to modify their driving behavior and not get a real ticket,” said MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump.

The new cameras include:

• Sixteen cameras trained on crosswalks will record drivers as pedestrians step into the crosswalks, and tickets will be issued to drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians when they have the right of way.

• Twenty gridlock cameras will capture the license plates of vehicles that fail to clear crosswalks or intersections before a traffic signal changes and block the box.

• Thirty-two cameras will be placed at stop signs to ticket drivers who do not come to a complete stop.

• Eight oversized-vehicle cameras will ticket large commercial trucks prohibited from using small neighborhood streets.

• The police department will increase its speed camera enforcement by adding 24 cameras at intersections.

Police were unable to say this week how many warning tickets the cameras have issued since they were first installed. Tickets must be issed within 25 days of the traffic violation but typically take one to two weeks to process, Ms. Crump said.

In addition to combating what police call “aggressive and dangerous driving habits,” the cameras will generate income for the city through new fines ranging from $50 to $250 per violation.

According to the District’s fiscal 2014 budget, the city expects to collect an additional $31.7 million from these new traffic cameras this fiscal year.

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