D.C. Lowers Some Speeding Fees

Mayor Vincent Gray has lowered speeding ticket fees within the District of Columbia. Effective Nov. 5, those caught speeding on camera will encounter lower fines.

Eric Goulet, Gray’s budget director, noted that automated traffic enforcement generated a surplus of $27 million in fiscal 2012, and this was expected to reoccur in fiscal 2013. Now, lowered fines are expected to bring the extra revenue down to $3.5 million.

Violators caught at 10 miles-per-hour above the limit will be fined $50, rather than $75, and violators caught at 11 to 15 miles-per-hour above the limit will be fined $100 rather than $125.

However, this new regulation will hurt those who are caught exceeding the speed limit by 25 miles-per-hour. These violators will face and increased fine of $300 instead of $250.

These changes do not apply to tickets issued by officers who pull over violators. These fees, and the fine for running a red light, will remain the same.

The bill was introduced by D.C. council members Mary Cheh, Tommy Wells and Marion Barry. Wells argued that fines did not need to be as high as they previously were to have a deterrent effect on speeding.

Gray was able to enforce this bill immediately, working through a regulatory fix rather than the District Council’s lengthier process to amend traffic-camera fines.

Gray noted that he is not seeking a rift with lawmakers. “I’ve said many times that we would have our own plan, so we’re pursuing that,” he said, “If there are other issues on the table, we’d be happy to work with the council.”

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