D.C. Government Making Big Bucks Off Blocking-the-Box Tickets

Ticket writing soars

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Traffic jams bring cash to the D.C. government.

    Most drivers see red when they encounter gridlock. The District government sees green. As in dollar signs.

    D.C. issued more than 1,500 citations for drivers for “failure to clear an intersection” in the 2011 budget year, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.

    That’s a significant jump from the previous year, when 1,080 gridlock tickets were issued. The total take from both years, according to the Examiner:  $263,000.

     AAA Mid-Atlantic auto club doesn’t advocate blocking the box but at the same time, it’s easy for drivers to get stuck at an intersection and become “an innocent victim” said John Townsend of AAA.

    There’s more than one way to become a victim. The police officer who stops you won’t necessarily write a ticket for “failure to clear an intersection.” The officer might decide you ran a red light. The penalty for that is even more expensive, at $150. Kaching.