Traffic cameras are very profitable for D.C., but a new plan to set up more cameras is getting some push-back.
The District's push to increase its traffic camera program, outlined in D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's proposed 2013 budget, is drawing fire from some critics who say the city is using it to generate income from non-District drivers. Gray is trying to close a $172 million deficit using $102 million in cuts and $70 million in new revenue.
Much of that revenue is expected to come from an increase in automated traffic enforcement and expanded hours for alcohol sales. The traffic enforcement piece of that could total $30 million from fines, NBC Washington reports. The proposal would use red-light cameras to also issue speeding tickets for cars going too fast through the green lights.
AAA Mid-Atlantic is opposing the measures because it says they are designed to fill the city's coffers. But a spokesperson for Gray tells the Associated Press the mayor must be an advocate for D.C. residents, both drivers and non-drivers alike.
The regional motorists' club is also taking issue with a proposed change from the District Department of Motor Vehicles that will make it tougher to challenge tickets issued by the cameras, or by in-person officers issuing citations.
A change being considered in the DMV's Fiscal Year 2012 performance plan would require those wishing to challenge tickets in court to pay the tickets, as well as an additional $60 adjudication and transcript fee, up front before going before a judge.
Currently, about 55 percent of moving violations cases that are adjudicated are thrown out; the same goes for 52 percent of parking tickets and 32 percent of camera tickets.