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Speed-Camera Violations Drop In D.C.

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The number of speed-camera violations is declining in the District, along with revenue those violations generate.
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The number of speed-camera violations is declining in the District, along with revenue those violations generate.

The number of speed-camera violations and ticket revenue are dropping in D.C. It's a sign that drivers are slowing down—at least some of the time.

Washington speed cams caught 125,000 fewer speeders in fiscal year 2013 compared to the year prior—resulting in a drop of $3 million in ticket revenue. Still, the D.C. treasury hauled in $75 million dollars from speeding drivers.

John Townsend at AAA MidAtlantic says D.C. plans to add more cameras to increase safety and revenue. "The mayor has already indicated in his new budget that he wants to see an expansion of the program," Townsend says, "and this is the way he couched it, to bring in an additional $50 million in revenue."

Townsend says revenue fell because the cameras are working; drivers are speeding less in D.C. But he says some of that comes from the so-called "halo effect." Drivers will hit the brakes when they know a camera is present, and then speed up once they've left the camera's zone. Townsend expects D.C. to adopt a solution to that problem.

"Well, they would do the same thing Montgomery County did, which is to come up with the concept known as a speed corridor: as opposed to having one camera at the site, you'll have multiple cameras," Townsend says.

In Montgomery County, speed camera citations jumped by 120,000 and revenue increases from $14 to $17 million.

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