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Groups Want More Traffic Cameras In D.C.

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Some drivers think that D.C. has too many traffic cameras, but two groups think that it could use many more.
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Some drivers think that D.C. has too many traffic cameras, but two groups think that it could use many more.

The District already has 50 red light cameras and more than 100 speeding cameras, all of which mean big money for the city’s treasury.

But in a letter to D.C. legislators on Monday, the D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council and the Pedestrian Advisory Council said that the cameras have made D.C. streets safer—and more of them should be used.

According to the two groups, the cameras have already encouraged drivers to slow down and stop at red lights, both of which have spared pedestrians and cyclists on increasingly busy city streets.

“In the event of an automobile collision, pedestrians and bicyclists are far more vulnerable to being injured or killed than drivers, who are protected by a vehicle. This is particularly true when a driver is speeding. Reducing traffic speed is essential to protecting pedestrians and bicyclists as well as drivers,” said the letter.

The two groups, which advise the D.C. government on bike- and pedestrian-related matters, say that bicycle and pedestrian fatalities exceed the national average, and more cameras will help bring those numbers down.

The letter was prompted by recent attempts in Congress and on Capitol Hill to reign in the city’s camera program, which has quickly grown in recent years.

Critics of the cameras say that city officials use them for revenue more than for safety.

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