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Topic - Lisa Sutter
The District's automated traffic enforcement program increased its revenue by more than 100 percent from 2011 to 2012, jumping from $42.9 million to $95.6 million, according to figures released Thursday by the city.
The efforts of a D.C. police sergeant to force a refund of $1.8 million in allegedly invalid speed-camera tickets represent just one aspect of what he says is ailing the District's automated speed-enforcement program.
A veteran Metropolitan Police sergeant says higher-ups at the department and the city council chairman are protecting a manager accused of misusing department funds, failing to rescind defective speed-camera citations and improperly voiding legitimate tickets.
Members of a D.C. Council task force on traffic fines agreed on Tuesday that speed limits and red-light cameras improve safety, but city officials need to show "a rational nexus" between hefty fines that can reach $150 and drivers' willingness to change their behavior.
Motorists will see 16 to 24 new cameras, or two to three per ward, of each type during the coming year, said Lisa Sutter, program manager of automated traffic enforcement for the Metropolitan Police Department.
The District has experienced 11 traffic-related deaths this year, she said, about a 60 percent decrease from this time last year.