City Desk

New Traffic Cameras Will Ticket Cars for Endangering Pedestrians and Bikers, Blocking Intersections

If, hypothetically speaking, there were a war on cars in D.C., the battlefield just got a little trickier for drivers.

The Metropolitan Police Department announced today that it will install automated traffic enforcement cameras throughout the city that will ticket drivers for offenses like not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks and not stopping at stop signs.

The DC Street Safe campaign targets aggressive driving that endangers pedestrians and cyclists—and the cameras officially turn on tomorrow. (Only warnings will be issued for the first month or so, with fines starting on Dec. 30)

The cameras will use video analytic and radar technology and will also catch cars speeding through intersections and blocking intersections or crosswalks.

Tickets for failing to yield to a pedestrian or blocking a crosswalk will be $250. Not coming to a complete halt at a stop sign will cost drivers $50. If drivers feels they were ticketed in error, they can contest the fines.

In case drivers are still confused about what's legal and what's not, MPD has produced a few goofy, intensely acted videos to explain the program. Watch the rest of the videos, and see where the cameras will be located, right here.

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  • Alger

    So, hypothetically speaking, a motorist does recklessly endanger a pedestrian by failing to yield at a crosswalk, or fail to stop at a stop sign. Why is that a warning offense for the first month? Seems to me breaking the law is breaking the law.
    So can't we hypothetically issue tickets to these hypothetical menaces? I just can't understand this phase in approach.

  • Corky

    Exhibit A that the war on cars in DC is not hypothetical--it's real. Where is the automated device that tickets dnagerous bikers and jay walkers? Oh that's right, unlike cars, Bikes and pedestrians don't pay any fees to use the streets, so they have no responsibility to use them wisely.

  • Jay

    Congratulations, DC. You've convinced me not to go to your restaurants or shops-I'll stick with NoVA, thank you very much.

    Enough is enough.

  • Typical DC BS

    Hopefully the residents will start walking away with the new cameras.

  • Retired Cop 70

    The residents of this city that drive will need to have a payment plan before it's over. The fines are ridculous they say it's about Safety, not money. Show me proof where one of these cameras saved someones life, if they can do this then I'll stop talking. The Mayor and the Police Cheif really think we are all fools. I don't know but when was the last time you've seen a cop pull over a cyclist for running a red light or riding on the sidewalk or failure to yelp to a pedestrian? Answer: NOT IN YEARS. Attack the motorist with high fines, some will argue if you don't want a ticket don't speed or run red lights. At one time this was true but, now all of us that drive are going to get caught in this trap of aggressive traffic enforcement. Cameras that are set to bring in the new year with a bang of fines, more money more money for government officials to steal.

    Revenue in DC is going through the roof with these new cameras. I don't understand why the fines can't be a fixed price of $40.00 like in Maryland. Good old DC greed!

  • Retired Cop 70

    These new cameas are just a way to make sure everyone who drives in DC will get a ticket. Since this is based on a 1999 study, the police department needs to update their survey. In case they (MPD) haven't noticed bikers break the law everyday right in front of the police who look the other way. If you drive in DC you will be fined for some pedestrain just stepping off the curb as you approach or a cyclist not paying attention pulling in front of you. Can anyone on MDP bet their job that these traffic cameras have saved lives? Let's see proof not stats!

  • DC.GovHater

    On the intersection violation website, it says if you go 1 mile over the speed limit, you get a $50 ticket? Is that true?

    I agree. I'm going to stop going to DC for entertainment. Maryland and Virginia from now on. They've gone overboard.

  • Ward-8

    Lets see how can I avoid these pesky tickets, Dang! just figured it out,Use my blue tooth with my phone, fasten my seat belt, drive within the speed limit and shucks,stop at red lights and stop signs.That should do it and it wasn't that hard.

  • Nando Martinez

    I'm starting to think that DC don't want my business and is trying to tell me that in so many ways. Why continue to make it so hard for drivers in DC? For every ticket that the city gives out for the unaware, that another small business that's missing out on growing it's customer base and create returning customers. I'm for one and person that has cut back my spending in DC because of the traffic cameras and will most likely avoid the city and it's businesses because of the hassle from the city and the traffic camera scam. Enough with the cameras and fines, let the people enjoy the city and relax with the cash grab.....Nando Martinez

  • CameraFan

    @corky - Actually, local roads where people walk and cycle come from the general fund. I, as a resident, pay a lot of money into this general fund. Also, I'm much less likely to kill someone while on a bike or walking. Further, you will not get a ticket if you follow the laws. If you don't like the laws, then work to change them. Cyclists are working to change the laws every day.

    @Jay - please do stay home. If you are going to cause gridlock, run red lights, speed, and not yield to pedestrians, we'd rather you not come to the District

    @Typical DC BS - Actually, with the addition of these cameras, DC residents will indeed walk.. the point of these cameras is to make it safer for pedestrians.

    @Ward 8 - exactly :-)

  • Corky

    Ha! Ward 8, wait until you get stuck in the "box" because some pedestrian or cyclist was in the crosswalk and you obeyed the law and let them cross. Then you'll get a ticket for blocking the box! Enjoy.

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  • Northwesterner

    I agree with Corky- nothing is worse than going through an intersection only to find someone with earbuds in, looking at their cell phone, is walking into the crosswalk on the other side of the intersection. That happened to me last Thursday morning and I "blocked the box" on CT Ave during morning rush hour. Ugh!

    I switched commutes recently, partially to avoid dealing with bicyclists who run reds and endanger themselves and myself in an intersection. After an argument with a friend several years ago I drove to work and counted every time a bicyclist ran a red light or stop sign. I counted 16 violations in one short commute! Another day I counted 11, including 5 bikes running a red at once, in a pack, at busy 16th and U St!

    Approximately 2007 at 16th and P I was getting out of my car with my door open into the bike lane and a cyclist rode by and yelled at me, "Out of my way Jew!" Keeping his middle finger raised as he pedaled away. (While not Jewish, I was parked in front of the DCJCC.)

    So, DC residents, call your councilman and tell them to unshackle the cops and let them ticket the out of control cyclists.

  • ugh

    I'm sure there is a lawsuit brewing somewhere on this. This is unjust unless you give both pedestrians and drivers dedicated signals. There are many streets where the majority of traffic can only makes a right turn on green, and at the same time gives pedestrians the walk signal. The same signal posts no turn on red which has now caused congestion for blocks. Moreover, how far from a pedestrian do you have to be before you receive a ticket, how many seconds do you give a pedestrian before it’s safe to turn, what about pedestrians who run out at the last minute to catch a bus while a car is turning? It’s flawed; the city hasn't installed the infrastrsucture to support this type of penalized system. They are hiding behind making pedestrians safe, but the reality is if the proper signals were there it would reduce the number of occurrences, and since most people mastered the speed cameras they need a way to maintain their raises... Who keeps voting for these people?

  • Hummm

    Where are the people? This effort is to save lives. Prevent injuries. Help each and all get around the city safely. It ruins your day when you hit a child or run over and kill a grandmother.
    Those who walk aren't taking parking spots you need. Yes, they slow you, but imagine how gridlocked traffic would be if each were driving a car right there!
    Photo Enforcement wouldn't be needed if we were all trying to make sure everyone is safe, even those who aren't able to make the best decisions each time.