Congress May Consider Banning DC Traffic Cameras

A Republican congressman from Michigan may propose a ban on speed and red-light enforcement cameras in the District of Columbia.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has circulated a bill that would strip the city government of its authority to use the cameras. A spokesman for Bentivolio says the bill has not yet been finalized but that the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away.''
The move was criticized by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the district in Congress, and other advocates for self-rule for the district.

"He thinks he has the audacity, that as a member of Congress, he can do something about that, but if he wants to be the bully who picks on the District of Columbia, he better know that we don't just lie down and take it," Holmes Norton told News4.

Red-light and speed cameras are widespread in the district and generated $85 million in revenue during the last fiscal year. Mayor Vincent Gray argues that the cameras make the city safer, but critics say the fines are too high.

The announcement comes just days after D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi projected revenues from the cameras to shrink by $7.3 million this fiscal year, approximately 10 percent of total revenue.

Bentivolio was not available for comment Thursday.

"This is a Tea Party guy, six months in Congress, no record, and he thinks he's gonna get a record on the backs of the people of the District of Columbia?" Holmes Norton said.

Some D.C. residents have voiced their discontent with the cameras, but others simply want Bentivolio to stick to his constituents.

"He needs to be concerned about Michigan. That's where he's from," one resident told News4.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us