Saturday, February 21, 2015

Speeding tickets are essential to DC budget! Ask me!

The speeding ticket, caught red-handed (or red NC State plated) by a traffic camera for going too fast on what seemed to be an interstate highway, came three months too late to help with the budget short-fall in Washington DC. Your vehicle was photographed violating District of Columbia traffic regulations on the date (December 27, 2014) and time (11:29:28 AM) listed below. Those few but accusing words were printed on the District of Columbia Notice of Infraction of the Metropolitan Police Department that arrived in the mail in mid-January. Guilty as charged unless appealed and then probably guilty anyway.

The citation which included a close-up of my license plate along with two photos of my car zipping past a camera said the car was traveling at 62 miles per hour in a posted 50 miles per hour zone. The highway looked like an interstate high, it traveled like an interstate highway, but in reality was and remains DC295, a highway in DC that looks and feels like an interstate highway, especially when trying to get out of town. The infraction took place at DC295 SW .7 miles south of exit 1 S/B, a well-know speed trap to residents of and visitors to our nation’s capital, truly beautiful place even with the Capitol building surrounded by scaffolding for repairs, the Capitol, not the scaffolding. Word is the Capitol will be ready in time for Hillary’s Coronation in about 23 months.

A Google search of that specific location—DC295 SW .7 miles south of exit 1 S/B—reveals quite a cache of fines for speeding there and throughout the District in similar speed traps. Actually, the District of Columbia relies on traffic cameras as a primary source of income. Last year’s projected income was $93,700,000! That’s $93.7 million dollars from catching drivers violating speeding laws, caught on radar cameras. Go figure! As of late August 2014, a month prior to the end of the fiscal year, DC’s effort resulted in only $26.1 million, just under $70 million less than budgeted, or more than 11%, below the annual $6.3 billion budget for everything there. The District of Columbia both encourages drivers to obey and ignore speed limit laws. It must get its cue from Congress.

The location of my infraction which does not carry a penalty of points against your license raked in more than $9,000,000 in fiscal 2012. All of DC295 which looks and feels like I-295, brought in nearly $24 million that year. The rest came from other speed traps throughout the District. My violation was appealed on-line with the defense of having just spent several days in Washington, supporting DC with taxes at restaurants, grocery stores and Target and with user fees for the Metro, and that the signs noting the speed limit of 50 mph were never seen so therefore awareness of exceeding the posted speed was not realized or the car would have been traveling at a lower speed. Besides, it was my first ever speeding violation. The response which took about four weeks came from Hearing Examiner J. Simpson. CONCLUSION OF THE LAW: Liable. The $100 fine has been paid.
-------------------- word of the day
auger (verb) [aw-ger]: to predict

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