Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Speed Camera an Unfair Speed TrapApril 11, 2016
For more than 10 years, Washington D.C. officials have been installing cameras on traffic lights in an effort to enforce local speed limits. But according to residents living in the D.C. area, there is one speed camera that has been a source of frustration as many consider it to be a blatant speed trap.
The camera in question is installed at the intersection of Suitland Parkway and Stanton Road, where there are two different speed limits. The westbound side has a speed limit of 35 mph and the eastbound side has a 45 mph speed limit. The camera is on the eastbound side. One particular motorist, not realizing that there were two different speed limits at that intersection, received a $100 speeding ticket. She was traveling on the westbound side.
John Townsend of the Mid-Atlantic office of AAA agreed that the placement of the camera at that particular intersection could be considered a speed trap. He referenced a 2013 traffic study conducted by DDOT, which concluded that the camera was indeed warranted, but the study based the conclusion on a speed limit of 45 mph, not 35. DDOT responded by saying it was simple error. Townsend called the placement of the camera unethical, taking advantage of people who are driving at freeway speed because the road has the look and feel of a freeway. He said it is unfair to drivers to set speed limits that are too low.
Interestingly, the speed camera in question was the District’s second most lucrative camera, generating $5,844,950 for the city over the past four years.
Spokesman Dustin Sternbeck disagrees with the speed trap claim, saying that safety is the main priority. He said that there were three fatalities near the intersection in 2015 and a construction worker was killed there in 2014. However, half of those deaths were on the eastbound side with a 45 mph speed limit. The Program Manager for DDOT Traffic Safety said that the 35 mph speed limit is there because it is an inbound road. The DDOT wants to reduce speed limits gradually from freeways to 25 mph zones. That being said, DDOT could not provide examples of other freeways that have a 10 mph difference between inbound and outbound lanes.
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