By Andrew Ganz
Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 8:50 am
 
Washington, D.C., has found its traffic camera program so successful that the city's government plans to add more than 130 additional units to the city's streets and intersections.
The nation's capital says that it generated $85 million in additional revenues in the 2012 fiscal year that ended in September, a figure that could theoretically double with the additional cameras that ticket drivers for speeding and running stop lights.

To counter the big increase in traffic cameras, D.C. says that some fines will be lower in the future, although the likelihood of a driver receiving a ticket will inevitably climb since there will be far more cameras. And many of the additional cameras will now monitor more than just vehicle speeds and red light offenders.

A police spokeswoman told the Washington Examiner that 32 cameras will be added to catch drivers not stopping at stop signs, while 16 will ticket drivers not stopping at designated pedestrian crosswalks.

D.C. says that the cameras were responsible in part for a significant drop in traffic fatalities - from 72 in 2001 to 32 in 2011, although critics like AAA Mid-Atlantic contend that the city's real motive is revenue generation.

"It should be about traffic safety, but at what cost?" a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman told the Examiner.

Traffic cameras have proven a volatile subject across the globe. Voters in some cities - most notably Houston - have kicked out cameras entirely over claims that they are overly sensitive to incomplete stops and that they don't take into account traffic conditions the same way that a police officer might.