Saturday, December 6, 2008

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Metropolitan Police Department has added 11 spots where it can place about 24 photo-radar cameras in the city.

The cameras capture images of speeding motorists and last year earned the city about $18.5 million in revenue from fines.

Police officials said the new locations were selected after looking at accident data, calls for police service and requests and recommendations from the D.C. Department of Transportation and community groups.

But John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said the new placements unfairly target commuters from Maryland.



“It’s like the people from Virginia get a free ride when they come into the District, or when they leave the District,” he said. “This is ridiculous.”

Police spokeswoman Traci Hughes said most Maryland drivers enter the city through residential areas, where there is a need for greater caution and cameras.

“We’re certainly not discriminating against Maryland drivers,” she insisted.

Police said they have as many as 14 cameras that are affixed to vehicles and 10 that are deployed as stationary devices. About eight to 10 of the cameras are on vehicles during a given shift, and the new locations will be integrated into a rotation of other locations where the cameras are placed.

Police said the new deployments began recently, but they do not involve new cameras. Motorists caught in the new locations will be issued warning notices until Dec. 26, when police will begin issuing citations.

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