- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 8, 2005

The Metropolitan Police Department is adding four stationary speed cameras to its automated traffic safety system, which has collected more than $92 million in fines since 1999.

The new cameras will be in the 4700 block of MacArthur Boulevard NW; the 2800 block of Benning Road NE, the 100 block of Michigan Avenue NE and the 5400 block of 16th Street NW.

The department will begin final testing of the cameras Monday, said Kevin Morison, spokesman for Chief Charles H. Ramsey.

The testing is scheduled to run through at least Thursday “to work out any kinks … and to make sure the angle captures all needed information in the picture,” Mr. Morison said.

He said the department is informing motorists to avoid problems. “So when they see the flash, they won’t call the media and council members, thinking we’ve launched a new camera without letting them know,” Mr. Morison said.

The testing will take place in two-hour intervals throughout the day, and no warnings or tickets will be issued during that period.

The department spent about $318,000 to buy and install the cameras, which will be activated within the next few weeks, Mr. Morison said.

Speeders will receive only warnings during the first 30 days the cameras are in full operation, then tickets will be issued.

Affiliated Computer Services of Dallas manages the city’s automated traffic-enforcement program. The company splits the fines with the District, which deposits the revenue into the general fund.

The District installed its only stationary photo camera last February in the 600 block of Florida Avenue NE, near the entrance of Gallaudet University. The camera caught more than 10,000 speeding drivers in its first 15 days of operation.

Since August 2001, speed cameras have been placed in eight police cruisers at 75 designated spots throughout the District. That program has generated more than $63 million in fines.

Fines from red-light cameras, which are posted at 39 intersections, have generated more than $28 million since they were first set up in August 1999.

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