Police and city officials in the District of Columbia must be downright giddy these days. Over the past year, D.C. drivers exceeded the speed limit on fewer occasions than the year before, meaning they were less likely to get into serious accidents. At least this is what we can extrapolate from the decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued by the 127 or so cameras planted throughout the District.
As the Washington Post noted last week, “Cash from speed-camera tickets dropped by 55 percent in fiscal 2014, after the city took in almost $76 million the year before.” Ticket revenue for 2014 was a paltry $37,472,385. And while some attribute the decline to inclement weather and nonfunctioning cameras, it’s a good guess drivers have simply become more aware of the various hot spots (or more adept at using technology like the Waze app, which alerts drivers to camera locations). The Scrapbook has noticed how, on a trip through the K Street underpass, the flow of traffic now predictably falls to 25 mph as cars pass the camera’s watchful eye.
But that’s the whole point of the cameras, isn’t it? To get us to slow down? It can’t possibly be the piles of cash filling city coffers, which since 2007 have totaled close to $357 million, can it? We’d like to think the District’s bureaucrats will be celebrating this great victory for public safety—but there seems to be no time to celebrate.
Again according to the Post, “The District was set to began issuing tickets from six new speed cameras just past midnight Wednesday after a 30-day warning period at locations where the police said speeding has been a problem.”
God bless ’em. Their concern for our safety is never-ending!