Loose Lips

Yvette Alexander: For $1,000 Speed Camera Tickets

Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander said today at a radio debate that she's so pro-speed cameras that she wouldn't mind seeing the already-high fines raised a little, or even a lot.

"It could be a thousand dollars, I don't care," said Alexander, who says she's seen firsthand the death and destruction wrought by speeders.

That does not seem a particularly popular position for a politician to take, in LL's opinion. So kudos to Alexander for taking it no matter what voters might think. Her opponent in the November election, Republican Ron Moten, has tried to make hay out of the either real or perceived dislike voters have for the city's speed camera fines, which generally come in at about $125 a pop. Moten organized a town hall forum on "speed camera abuse" last month. After Alexander made her comments during a debate on WPFW, Moten said he's all in favor of having speed cameras but thinks the fines might be too high.

The D.C. Council formed a task force to study the District's rates that has similar views. It's recommending bringing the rates more into line with the $40-a-pop neighboring Maryland charges. Some years ago, Montgomery County, which was the first county in Maryland to have speed cameras, did a study on their effectiveness. The study found that the $40 tickets were, in fact, reducing speeding.

Of course, cutting speed cameras fines by two-thirds would mean cutting speed camera revenues by a similar amount. The city's chief financial officer just announced that $23 million of a recent $140 million surplus was due to speed camera fines.

Photo by Alan Suderman

  • Logan Circler

    And they say Mitt Romney is out of touch. Clearly this woman loves a doughnut. Which kills more people, speeding or grotesque morbid obesity?

  • Jerry

    As if I needed another reason to never drive into DC. So no sales tax, and no income tax from merchants I might have bought stuff from. Hey, if you need more revenue why not build some casinos?

  • SEis4ME

    @Jerry, stay out and don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya dude!

  • nowaitadaminit

    Hey you in Logan Circle: Peronally speaking, I think Ms. Alexander is 'cute'. She is always well groomed and well coiffed. She is a beautiful plus sized woman and personal attacks on her weight are 'grotesquely and morbidly' unfair. What does her weight have to do with anything? That is very personal. Speed kills and maims innocents and sometimes the guilty speeder as well.

    And Jerry: #3 offers some sound advice. Why should we build casinos when we can go to Maryland to get our gamble on? Oh, and by the way, don't let the sun catch your split in DC for a series play off or hopefully a Word Series game or two. GO NATS!!!! STAY OUT JERRY!!!

  • DC Antics

    Must so many DC Councilmembers abuse silence? Just be quiet when you have nothing of value to say. One cannot keep a license, two are gone and this woman, the one who abused constituent funds for catered dinners, wants to impose higher camera fees? Geesh, they ALL need to be replaced.

  • MotoMike

    So typical, and on par with DC's parking division. Robbery, corruption.... a DC politician does not fear these things.. A city that still has such issues with crime, infrastructural shortages, income disparity, and EMBARRASSINGLY POOR SCHOOLS should NOT have a budget surplus of that size. Period.

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    I support some speed cameras, but not all over the District. I don't support $1,000. fines for speeding in the District. Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander is wrong on this and she's an idiot.

  • monkeyrotica

    The silence from Ron Moten's erection is deafening.

  • Klaus Crancinski

    To nowaitadaminit
    "What does her weight have to do with anything?"
    It has a great deal to say about a lack of self discipline and the absence of impulse control.
    If a person cannot control themselves,why would they be permitted to control others?

  • Scott

    Yvette Alexander's flippant remark about $1000 speed camera fines shows her utter contempt for DC's citizenry. I, personally, thank her for her comment as it strengthens the cause for those of us who oppose speed cameras.

  • NE John

    We need 5000 more cameras too. You go girl. Protect the citizens of DC!

  • The Java Master

    I'll bet you Dollars to Donuts that Yvette likes 'em both!

  • REALDC

    @nowaitadamnit- LOL. Your support for people because of their look is real shallow. Is she competent? Is ward 7 improving under her? How are the jobs in 7? Crime? etc. Get it, real stuff that matters not blonde wigs and big blouses....Geez, she cheers on speed cameras, now that some bulls***!

  • Drez

    Obviously the $1000 figure was a figure of speach.
    Im cool with what she said.
    Good for Yvette, good for DC.

  • noodlez

    ANY VEHICLES WITH VA PLATES FINES SHOULD BE DOUBLED AUTOMATICALLY!

    VEHICLES WITH MD PLATES FINES SHOULD BE RAISED BY 50% AUTOMATICALLY!

    DC VEHICLES FLAT FEE. DOUBLE AFTER NO PAYMENT IN 6 MONTHS.

    WE NEED MONEY TO HIRE MORE DC RESIDENTS FOR FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT, THE YOUTH SUMMER JOB PROGRAM AND WE NEED MORE PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS.

    ONE CITY.

  • nowaitadaminit

    @#9: Have you forgotten about that other Claus? You know, the jolly old FAT White (in my youth) guy who controlled all of the kids I knew? All heavy people do not suffer with impulse control, nor do they all lack self discipline. Try practicing a little restraint yourself before mindlessly attacking someone's weight which is very personal.

    @#'s 11, 14, and 15: My sentiments exactly.

    @#13: Who said I support candidates because of their looks? I said I think she's a beautiful plus sized woman.
    There you go again, wrong as two left feet: The lady DOES NOT wear a wig. If she wants to be a blond, that is her business. If she did wear a wig that is also her business. Her constituents must think she's competent.
    She did not say she cheers on speed cameras, she said she has seen first hand the death and destruction wrought by speeders.

    Ron Moten seems to be enjoying that hug. Heh! Heh!! Heh!!!

    YOU GO YVETTE! BAM!!!

  • LOL

    $cameras don't work. Never have. Never will. Another tax that especially hurts the poor and middle income. What a joke

  • Wait, What?

    So Noodlez, we need more $$ to expand government employment opportunities for DC residents - private enterprise won't see any $ from increased fines. Barry "ideas" die hard, eh?

    While I agree with Yvette in this instance, and Noodlez's plan to increase fines for VA and MD (although both should be doubled), Alexander is our dumbest council member, which is saying a TON. She also had better hope there are no speed cameras in the buffet line.

  • Finally

    If the city is generating a surplus, I am not mad at raising the fines a tad bit. I think they should increase fines on vehicles out of state.

    On the flipside, this will definitely make the council lazier, because they do not have to number crunch and spend wisely if they are raking in that much money from speeding tickets. They can afford some room for error because they can always count on being atleast $20 mill in the right direction off speeding fines.

  • Andy

    The comments from those who support Ms Alexander's position are very telling about their motives.... especially those calling for higher fines for non locals. You view this as a commuter tax and have basically admitted that.

    A corrupt government serving corrupt people, how fitting.

  • SEis4ME

    @Andy, thanks!

    And you're welcome to keep your a** away from here.

    C Ya!

  • noodlez

    YO ANDY I SEE YOU ALL FRONT OF THE CLASS AND SHIT PICKING UP ON THE QUASI-MUTER TAX. YOU MUST LIVE IN VA OR MD.
    DON'T BE MAD. JUST SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

    I'M SICK OF SORRY ASS VA DRIVERS (I'M TALKING ABOUT ALL YA'LL BLACK, WHITE, LATINO AND ESPECIALLY ASIAN) USING THE STREETS OF THE CITY IN A CONDESCENDING WAY.

    INSTALL MORE SPEEDING CAMERAS AND RAISE THE FEES ON OUT OF TOWN PLATES. TRUST ME IT IS FAR BETTER THAN ALL THAT GAMBLING BULL SHIT EVERYONE IS PROPOSING TO BUILD UP MUNICIPALITIES TREASURIES.

    ONE CITY.

  • ToTheContrary

    Well, I've paid my share to the coffers. $250.00 last month. (2 tickets). It may not be legal but I had to get a radar detector. I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't think that the city ethically manages its budget.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Moten seems to be lovin' gettin' that hug on. Heh!Heh!! Heh!!! Alexander does not need a wig. Her hair color is her business and I still say she's one Hell of a good lookin' plus size woman. Weight is a very personal thing and all heavy people do not have impulse control problems.
    Glad to see so many come out in support of the cameras.

    Careful Contrary, that radar detector may cost you more than the ticket. Just slow your roll, dawg.

  • Bob

    I think Yvette really offered to "bet $10,000" that a $1,000 fine would deter....

  • Typical DC BS

    Time to start smashing / painting over the cameras.

    Quit being sheep. If DC was serious about reducing speeding, they'd have the cops actually enforcing traffic laws. Please, those speed cameras are nothing but stationary tax machines.

  • Calvin H. Gurley

    As quite as it is kept…from the public; D.C. can achieve an annual $23 million dollar collection on a $75.00 speeding ticket if this Council cuts-out the middle man.

    The Speed Camera contractor has an agreement with the city on all fines at a 40%/60% split. Therefore, on a $150.00 speeding fine – D.C. gets $90.00 and the contractor gets his (40%) - $60.00. We (residents) need to push the Council to hire and train local residents to manage the operations of the cameras and the software, perform the maintenance of the hardware and then cancel this costly and foolish contract. This contractor (who is located miles away in another state) is a millionaire 10 times over.

    Until this comes to past, the middle man is who has driven up the amount of the violation and is not a “necessary” cost for residents to pay.

    But who do you know? And, who cares about you and your stagnant payroll wages? If Council persons Tommy Wells and Mary Che are not deciding to terminate this posh contract, then they are just spinning this issue and playing with your hope for a fair and sensible fine to pay just like Marylanders.

  • Andy

    Oh trust me I DO avoid spending my money downtown. Have not gotten any tickets from DC, or anywhere else in years. SEisMe/noodlez, you validate my view with every word you type. Just keep it up and the rest of the US might just decide it is time to reign DC in.

  • SEis4ME

    Andy, I don't believe anybody is clamoring for you to come to dc..EVER. In case you don't know, the city is continuing its trend of attracting residents. So stay your silly self in your own lane and if you dislike DC so much, stop posting on a blog based here.

    1+1=dumb.

  • noodlez

    MY DEAR ANDY VALIDATION IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER SO BEHOLD THESE NUTZ!!!

    LOOKY HERE CHUMP I TRULY DONT CARE WHERE YOU SPEND YOUR DOUGH BUT IF YOUR BAMMA ASS DECIDE TO VIOLATE OUR SPEED LIMITS AND GET PHOTO'D DOING IT THEN YOU WILL BE ACTUALLY MAKING IT RAIN IN DC.

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  • Andy

    Your own comments make my case far better than anything I could say: DC's speed cameras are based on a '**** the out of towners' philosophy.

    DC's very purpose is supporting the functions of the US government, which US taxpayers pay for, and they have every right to come to DC and observe their tax dollars at work. The fact that you want to use the cameras specifically for the purpose of taxing visitors to the city is laid bare by your statements that you would like to see higher fines for out of town drivers.

    DC shoots itself in the foot when people from the states see the contempt which DC residents hold for the rest of the US. The next time DC asks for more autonomy, US voters might recognize this and not only say 'NO' but also tell their representatives to stop sending money there. Posting this to a blog based in DC is meant as a courtesy to you: apparently some need to be reminded that DC is very much dependent on the rest of the country, and that what goes around comes around.

    I have never 'made it rain in DC'.

    Please feel free to respond to this email with another all caps profanity laden rant... it will help my argument by making camera supporters look like idiots.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Making the camera supporters look like idiots is more of a rant than anything posted in comments about this item except your statement accusing all citizens of DC of being corrupt. Or did I just read your comment in the wrong way?

    Why don't you just stick to the area in which you live rather than RANT AND RAVE about out hometown? As far as the rest of the US reigning DC in, the rest of the US should consider a commuter tax and/or autonomy to tax payng citizens of the US and DC. And please do stay out of DC. We have enough homebred problems and don't need outside ill bred trouble makers telling us how to run our city. The DC population more than doubles on a daily basis. That means our infrastructural resources are used to support twice those of other jurisdictions. The fact that we don't ask for a commuter tax is bad enough. Non-DC taxpayers are afforded the same amenities the citizens receive. What is also sad is that many of them patronize hotels in Maryland and Virginia because jokers like you have them believing all sorts of weird things about staying in DC.

    However quite a few of those daily visitors don't mind commuting to DC for the better salaries they can't make on their own home turf. Go Figger.

  • noodlez

    ANDREW THIS IS MY STOP AND I’M ABOUT TO GET OFF BUT BEFORE I DO LET ME STRAIGHTEN YOUR DUMB ASS OUT.

    THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DOESN’T SUPPORT THE FEDERAL GOV.
    EVERY FED GOV AGENCY LOCATED IN THE CITY IS SELF CONTAINED.
    THE MAJORITY OF THE FEDERAL GOV EMPLOYEES USE METRO AND THEY AREN’T VISITING THEY ARE WORKING. VISITORS ALSO USE METRO OR STAY IN THE CITY.

    READ MY COMMENT AGAIN MOFO I SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED DRIVERS FROM VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND WHO ARE THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS FOR THE FEDERAL GOV AND USE THE CITY SERVICES AND FACILITIES AS A GREASY NAPKIN AND JUST IT THROW-AWAY WHEN THEY ARE DONE FOR THE DAY.

    SLIM U.S. TAXPAYERS DON’T PAY FOR SHIT HERE! THE DC GOV PAYS ITS OWN WAY. CHECK THE STATS! THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY SOON TO BE EXTINCT WHITEYS IN CONGRESS ARE HATIN ON D.C. BECAUSE WE DON’T NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR A GOT DAMN THING LET ALONE MONEY YOU STUPID ASS.

    SWEET CHEEKS YOU DON’T HAVE AN ARGUMENT AND NEXT TIME YOU LABEL SOMEONE AN IDIOT MAKE SURE YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE ONE IN THE PROCESS.

    ANDY= GOP ASS CLOWN

  • Welllllllll!!!!!

    Wellllll.....I hope Andy knows what MoFo and Sweet Cheeks means. And I would have used another description for that dirty napkin as an example.

  • http://www.motorists.org James C. Walker

    The District sets its posted speed limits way below the safest level for the express purpose of collecting revenue from safe drivers going along with the normal traffic speeds.
    It is a PURE money grab scam, not a safety program.

    The Districts sets its yellow light intervals way shorter than the safest lengths for the express purpose of collecting revenue from safe drivers.
    It is another PURE money grab scam, not a safety program.

    Both of these deliberate mis-engineering scams tend to reduce safety overall for the sole purpose of collecting revenue from safe drivers.

    Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander and every other District official including the Mayor who supports these predatory money grab scams need to be voted out of office and replaced with officials who support proper traffic safety engineering done for SAFETY, not for the revenue reasons the District uses currently.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI (frequent area visitor to see family in Maryland)

  • Welllllllll!!!!!

    Thank you, Mr. Walker for your professional input especially since you are a frequent visitor. However, in order for me to truly accept your premise, I would also appreciate your expert report on other jurisdictions as to whether or not you consider their leaders 'money grabbing scammers.

    Also, have you approached the proper athorities in DC regarding your concerns, or is rhis blog a way to denigrate our current elected administration? For example, Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit is a native of Washington, DC and I am curious to know how much you advise him. Also, what say you about the former administration foibles in Detroit? Heal thine closer jurisdictions, frequent visitor. Then perhaps you will gain more credibility regarding the judgment of our own.

  • Welllllllll!!!!!

    Re #36:

    1. authorities
    2. scammers'.
    3. administration's

    My daughter has asked me to make these corrections. I don't care since I'm not trying to receive credit for my comment.

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