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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Third Street Tunnel
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.
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.
Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson tried for months to persuade D.C. traffic officials to rescind more than 100,000 defective citations he said were a result of unreliable speed cameras, but when he got caught by one of them himself in the Third Street Tunnel, he took a different course.
Congress is taking its first look at problems voters had in November, including long lines that left many waiting for hours to cast ballots.
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.
The Metropolitan Police Department has issued some 7,000 speeding tickets and demanded more than $1.2 million in fines since November from speed cameras in the Third Street Tunnel in Northwest D.C.
Authorities say a fatal accident occurred Monday morning inside the Third Street Tunnel in southwest Washington.