Speed cameras are everywhere in the District, but are the fines too high? News 4's Tom Sherwood talked to one D.C. Council member who's looking to lower the fines for drivers.
The D.C. government collects tens of millions of dollars every year from speed cameras on city streets, and Mayor Vincent Gray wants to add dozens more cameras in the coming year. One D.C. Council member thinks the fines are too high for District drivers.
Speed cameras dot city roads, bringing in more than $50 million in revenue each year with fines that start at $75 and jump to as much as $250.
Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells is holding a hearing Tuesday with a broad group of transportation advocates to discuss those fines and propose lowering them.
“The ticketing situation has gotten out of hand,” Wells said. “There’s no need for having the souped up fines that we have. Fines have been raised in some case by 500 percent.”
Police Chief Cathy Lanier has said drivers don't have to worry about speed cameras if they're not speeding.
Wells said the fines should discourage speeding, but he believes cameras now are as much about raising revenue as public safety.
“And the cameras will help us stop that behavior in order for pedestrians and for everyone to be safer, but the size of the fines have really gotten to be just a way to balance the budget,” Wells said.
Wells’s meeting on camera fines is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Wilson Building.