The District of Columbia's speed-camera revenue-raising grows more brazen by the day. Last week, officials announced a dozen new speed-trap locations, while the for-profit Arizona-based vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has been busy installing permanent speed cameras at well-concealed freeway locations on Interstate 295 and Interstate 395.
If there were ever any doubt that speed cameras are nothing but a dishonest cash grab, look no further than Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray's "no new taxes" budget, released Friday morning. Boldly titled "Seizing Our Future," Mr. Gray's spending blueprint is more about seizing cash from the wallets of Virginia and Maryland drivers.
A fundraising website launched by state lawmakers to build more fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border has brought in more than $100,000 in donations in its first week of operation.
The blinding roadside flashes familiar to motorists in Maryland and the District will return to Northern Virginia in the new year. A private company completed the installation of red-light cameras last week at two Falls Church intersections: Broad and Cherry streets and Broad Street and Annandale Road. The Arizona-based firm American Traffic Solutions (ATS) will use the devices to issue warning notices until Jan. 18, when it will begin mailing out actual citations. Falls Church officials say this program is about safety; don't believe the propaganda.
The number of citations issued in the District's speed-camera program fell from 21,687 in February to 4,527 in March — a 79 percent decrease — but the amount of fines the citations generated remained relatively unchanged.
Revenue from the District's red-light camera program fell steadily during the same period that many of the automated enforcement devices were broken, according to statistics from the Metropolitan Police Department.