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DC mayor hopes to triple the number of traffic control cameras

District motorists, be prepared to slow down or pay.

According to Washington Post. Part of the overhaul, which will begin in October, includes 170 new speed cameras (there are currently 85). Even more new cameras would penalize drivers for violations like blocking bike and bus lanes or putting up stop signs — the budget projects the expansion will cost $9.4 million to complete.

The increase in the number of cameras is part of the mayor’s $10 million pledge last year, which would be spent on road safety measures following a series of fatal crashes. According to To post, nine people have died so far this year in traffic collisions, after 40 last year, the highest number in more than two decades. Tragic collisions last March include an elderly driver who lost control of his vehicle and rammed into diners on the patio outside the Chevy Chase DC restaurant, the Parthenon, killing two women. Days earlier, a young doctor was struck and killed by his own vehicle in Adams Morgan after an unidentified thief stole his car and drove off.

Critics of the district’s automated traffic enforcement point to cameras as a high and steady source of revenue. According to a report by AAA, DC issued — but didn’t necessarily collect — $1 billion in traffic and parking tickets in the three-year period from 2017 to 2019. Another study found that the district fines its residents more than any other city in the country, including for parking and traffic violations, at a rate of $261 per resident. Revenue reportedly fell over the past two years as residents drove less during the pandemic, though cameras still brought in $1.3 million in fiscal 2020, according to NPR, which was the same as the previous year.

food editor

Anna Spiegel covers the restaurant and bar scene in her native DC. Before joining Washingtonian in 2010, she completed the MFA program at the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in New York and St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.

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