- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 22, 2004

There’s more bad news for District drivers who are victimized by Big Brother, in the form of automated speed cameras. In April, the District collected $2.3 million in fines from the cameras — the biggest revenue month in the program’s 21/2 year history of picking motorists’ pockets. Although the number of tickets issued actually dropped from approximately 80,000 to 65,000 last month, the District gained revenue because ticketed drivers were hit with bigger fines.

The most profitable zone for the scameras is a six-lane highway bordered by two service roads in the 2800 block of New York Avenue NE — a nonresidential area. That zone produced 10,480 speeding citations, or about 16 percent of the citations issued last month.

As anyone who has ever driven on this section of New York Avenue can attest, a driver takes his life into his hands if he tries to drive close to the speed limit. Motorists on this road often face an ugly choice — between paying tribute to the District and Affiliated Computer Services, the private firm which manages the scameras, or getting run over by trucks. Perhaps Mayor Williams should consider a more innovative approach to making drivers slow down, such as a public works program to expand the size of the teeth-rattling potholes on Bladensburg Road.

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