DC councilmembers discuss lack of consequences for hundreds of thousands of dangerous drivers
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - New details about the lack of consequences for dangerous drivers in D.C. were discussed at a meeting with council members and transportation officials Monday.
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The meeting followed revelations that over half a million vehicles have outstanding tickets, making them eligible to be booted or towed: 44,000 registered in D.C., 168,000 in Virginia and 336,000 in Maryland.
Councilmember Mary Cheh said her office found a Virginia driver with over 200 tickets, including 180 moving violations.
Councilmember Christina Henderson shared that her office found someone who owed over $32,000 for 245 tickets.
The council members met with the head of the department of public works and the deputy mayor of operations and infrastructure saying something has to change. Currently, there are only six city employees who put boots on cars in D.C.
Cheh says it’s not about the city cashing in on the fines, but the serious traffic offenses that are going unpunished.
READ MORE: Woman on the hook for DC traffic tickets due to temporary tag issue
"It’s about safety," she said "We have people who have multiple tickets for speeding over 20 miles over the speed limit and going through red lights. And they do it with impunity."
She says off the over 500,000 drivers who are boot eligible, 5,000 have tickets for going 21 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, 150,000 have tickets for running a red light and 50,000 for running a stop sign.
During the meeting, Cheh brought up the two girls and their father who were hit by a car walking to school on Southeast two months ago.
READ MORE: DC officials working to combat lack of traffic fine enforcement
"That driver had seven outstanding tickets, six for dangerous driver behaviors including speeding and running red lights," said Cheh, wondering if enforcement could have prevented the crash.
During public comment, someone suggested making a watch list for the worst offenders. Cheh asked why officials can’t go on any private property to target cars and said it was something that needed to be looked into.
She says she wasn’t satisfied with the answers she got from officials during the meeting and doesn’t see a commitment to enforcement.
"A lot of the explanations didn’t add up," she said.
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Cheh says this needs to be a priority of the mayor’s budget this spring because additional resources are clearly needed to beef up enforcement.