First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Afternoon Read: Traffic Cameras Bring in Big Bucks to D.C.

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    D.C. is raking in the big bucks from your bad driving.

    In 2011, D.C.’s speed and red-light cameras brought in $55 million to the city, according to WTOP.

    And the city is hoping to bring in an additional $30 million through these cameras in the next budget cycle.

    In 2011, the city mailed 462,601 tickets— 397,464 of which were paid. Although the city actually issued fewer tickets than previous years, fines have gone up by 150 percent over the past two to three years.

    By comparison, according to WTOP, Montgomery County, which is both larger and more populous than D.C., took in $19 million from camera enforcement within a similar time span.

    But the Distrct may have to give some of the money back to drivers.

    The Washington Times reported today that the Metropolitan Police Department may have erroneously issued 7,000 tickets—or more than $1.2 million in fines—since November from speed cameras in the Third Street Tunnel.

    The posted speed limit in the tunnel, which runs from Interstate 395 to Massachusetts Avenue, ordinarily is 45 mph. But since construction to improve lighting and air exchange began in October, the posted speed limit has been 40 mph, along with signage to indicate “Work Zone,” “Fines Double” and “Photo Enforced.”

    Twenty-seven more speed cameras came online this week.

    Via WTOP:

    "They've said that they want to generate $30 million more in the next budget cycle," said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic's manager of public and government affairs. "Once you do that, you raise questions about the integrity of the program."

    * Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) will endorse Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for governor over Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Post reported Thursday.

    Cantor is headlining a fundraiser for Bolling next week at former congressman Tom Davis’s northern Virginia home

    Cantor and Bolling both share the same the political consultant and come from the same region, according to The Post.

    The endorsement doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Bolling is known as the establishment candidate. He is currently the lieutenant governor and has the backing of both Gov. Bob McDonnell and Mitt Romney.

    These high-profile backings likely won’t be enough to help Bolling clinch the nomination. A recent Quinnipiac Poll shows that Cuccinelli holds a decisive 51 to 15 percent lead over Bolling.

    But the endorsement could help things go Bolling’s way as the party’s governing board revisits whether to hold a primary or convention next year according to The Post.

    * Maryland may soon be the first state to ban the sale of bumper pads that line the inside of baby cribs.

    State officials announced Friday that it is beginning the regulatory process on the pads after determining last year that the pads pose a hazard because they can suffocate or strangle babies, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    The Department of Health intends to propose a ban and the proposed regulation will be published in the Maryland Register and also reviewed by a legislative committee before it is enacted.

    * Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman had a love-fest with Councilmember Marion Barry on Twitter over The Wire. Check out the thread here.