A speed camera on Washington, D.C.’s Interstate 295 (I-295), known as the Anacostia Freeway, has collected over $26 million in the past two and a half years.
Some D.C. residents deem the camera a “speed trap” to generate money, according to a report by WJLA.
“There’s always the suspicion that even if you say this is a work zone and it’s done for traffic safety, that an underlying reason for all of this is the revenue,” said John Townsend, Manager of Public and Government Relations for the American Automobile Association (AAA) Mid Atlantic.
Drivers complain that they are getting tickets of up to $800 for reasonable speeds on freeways.
The District lowered the speed limit to 40 mph in May, while it doubled the fines, making it a work zone 24/7.
However, WJLA reported that its team has run into no signs of a work zone, no cones and no equipment on the highway since August this year, although they searched multiple times.
“They do not want you to know that the speed limit is dropped to 40 miles an hour,” said retired D.C. Fire Lieutenant, Stephen Sandy, in an interview with WJLA. Sandy reportedly got a $200 ticket for going 53 mph in a 50 mph zone.
Sandy believes that the purpose of dropping the speed limit down to 40, while it is 55 in many other places in the country, was to collect revenue.
The report also points to the discrepancy between the number of tickets issued by the camera according to the DMV (24,000), and the records kept at Metro Police (10,000).
D.C.’s Department of Transportation (DDOT), on the other hand, claims that the practice aimed at the safety of motorists and workers.