D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray Proposes More Speed Cameras to Balance Budget

More roadside speed cameras could be Washington D.C.'s future as Mayor Vincent Gray's new budget calls for the city to collect an additional $50 million in speeding fines over the coming year. One council member called it "gotcha" government.

Gray said his budget is balanced in part by that steep rise in speed camera fines from more speed cameras on different streets at different times. The mayor's budget director said Motorists too often avoid permanent cameras, said the mayor’s budget director, Eric Goulet.

“What you've found as residents, when the mayor goes out and when I’ve been at budget town halls, particularly, complain about people slowing down for the fixed traffic cameras and then speeding up as soon as those are and then speeding through neighborhoods,” Goulet said.

At-large Council member David Catania, an independent candidate for mayor, suggested the city ought to better warn motorists.

“I think we need to do a public service announcement, to some extent, or a push that lets people know this because nothing makes people angrier than this gotcha mentality of this government that balances its budgets by these kinds of mechanisms,” Catania said.

Despite that concern, city police are moving ahead, according to the mayor’s office.

“What MPD has tried to do is have more mobile devices so that when they’re not needed in one location you can move them someplace else and then address people who may be speeding through our neighborhoods,” Goulet said. “So that would be the goal would be to move the cameras in a way to really discourage speeding throughout the city.”

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