A warning to drivers in D.C. Five new speed cameras will be up and running beginning Monday.
Here are the locations of the cameras:
|700 block of Maryland Avenue NE (southwest bound)||25 mph|
|2600 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW (northbound)||25 mph|
|4400 block of Reservoir Road NW (eastbound)||25 mph|
|2400 block of 18th Street NE (southbound)||25 mph|
|3000 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE (northwest bound)||30 mph|
The city will allow a grace period and issue warning citations for the first 30 days, but speeding tickets will be handed out after that.
We have reported many times that these cameras bring in huge money to the District's budget. Officials have always told us that they are trying to improve safety.
Back in May 2014 when D.C. police warned commuters of 14 new cameras being activated at that time, we asked the campaigns for Muriel Bowser and her opponent David Catania about the future of the traffic camera deployments.
Both Muriel Bowser and David Catania said they would conduct a full review in the District, and if they are not being used to calm traffic or to improve safety, they would have those cameras removed.
But what has been done since then? Since Bowser became mayor in January, it appears more cameras are popping up. We asked the mayor's office and the police department about this and we wanted specifics, but we got only this response:
"The Department has been reviewing all of the proposed locations that were included in the 2013 DDOT safety nexus study before deploying any new cameras. In areas where speeding is no longer a problem, cameras are not being deployed," said Gwendolyn Crump, spokesperson for the D.C. Police Department.
A new camera on Maryland Avenue in Northeast caught our attention. But is it really needed?
When we took a look at a District Department of Transportation traffic study of the 700 block of Maryland Avenue, it shows the average speed is 22 miles an hour in this 25 mile per hour zone. Also 85 percent of cars go just four miles over the speed limit.
But following a bad accident and numerous neighbor complaints, there are two cameras at this intersection.
Meanwhile, AAA Mid-Atlantic admits there is a need to improve safety with the cameras, but in some places, the cameras are used to simply drive revenue.
"Our question is: 'Is it really about traffic safety or is it to satisfy a political constituency or is it to generate revenue?'" said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Townsend said cameras are often placed in areas to respond to neighbor complaints.
There are no true rules about speed camera placement and the police department has discretion over them.
CLICK HERE for a full list of speed cameras in the District.