WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - We see it all the time in the District — cars illegally parked in bike lanes or even in front of hydrants. Imagine being able to give drivers a ticket yourself. Well, that may soon be a possibility.
DC Councilmember Charles Allen’s new bill would give people the power to ticket illegally parked cars with a simple cell phone picture.
“It would start small. Just 10 people per ward. They would be trained and made sure they would be ready to go. When they see a vehicle that is blocking a bike lane, blocking the crosswalk, blocking a fire hydrant, they would have the ability using an app on their phone to be able to take a picture and actually have a ticket that will be issued,” said Allen.
Allen says this measure is all for the safety of residents.
The program is a part of Allen’s “Vision Zero Omnibus Act” — A bill he introduced that also calls for protected bike lanes throughout the city
The citizens' safety enforcement pilot program is not new. Several cities across the country already have a similar system in place.
Allen says a measure like this is needed because a parking violation can pose a safety hazard for bikers and scooter riders, especially after the recent pedestrian deaths across the District.
FOX 5 spoke to residents about the proposed measure on Thursday and they appear to be split on the program.
“I think that civilians shouldn’t be able to do that because if you want to do that you should be a part of law enforcement. We have law enforcement for a reason and that’s their job,” one person said.
“I’m paying my tax dollars and that’s the law and if I’m a law-abiding citizen I’m going to participate in that,” another person said.
Allen says the bill will be debated during hearings. He hopes to have it passed by the fall.