from the gotta-fine-them-all dept.
D.C. has long been considered one of the most onerous places in the country for traffic fines, seeing a steady climb year to year in tickets issued and revenue generated. But recently the District broke into stunning new territory, issuing more than $1 billion in tickets in just three years. [...] We asked the District to show us its evidence that D.C.'s cameras, and the high fines, translate to fewer accidents, fewer injuries and fewer deaths. The District told us it hasn't done any studies.
Yet the fines keep increasing, generating more money than alcohol, cigarette, motor vehicle, fuel and estate taxes and all revenue from licenses and permits, and personal property taxes combined.
I don't know another local jurisdiction in the entire nation that has generated as much money from traffic tickets, parking tickets and moving violations," said John Townsend, Public Relations Manager of AAA Mid-Atlantic. "That tells us that things are out of control and out of hand in the District of Columbia."
"No one really believes this is about traffic safety any longer," said Townsend, "which is the reason we're withdrawing support for the automated enforcement program in the District."
That means AAA is likely to declare Washington, D.C. a "traffic trap" (or speed trap as it is commonly referred to) to its 60 million members. In 2005 AAA declared D.C. a "strict enforcement zone," one step below the "traffic trap" designation.
The AAA is the American Automobile Association, also frequently called "Triple A," known for its roadside assistance and other motorist related programs.