Loose Lips

Chief Lanier: Speeders Not Deterred by $50 Tickets

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier says $50 or less tickets from speed cameras will provide "absolutely no deterrent" and that speeders will consider the fines at that level the "cost of doing business."

Consider it a $100 toll (there and back) on your daily commute. You won't even notice.

Lanier's comments came just moments ago at a news conference announcing that the city is reducing the fines for the bulk of its speed camera tickets from $125 to $100. The move comes after months of displeasure from the city's drivers and a few weeks after a couple of councilmembers proposed reducing the fines to $50.

Speed camera tickets in Maryland are set at $40. A study done by Montogomery County found that that's plenty high enough to slow drivers down.

Says Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells, who convened a task force to study speed camera fines and is proposing the drop to $50: "There is little to no correlation of a higher fine and increased compliance with the speed limits."

Also backing up those findings: common sense. Does Lanier (whose $250,000-a-year salary puts her very close to being part of the 1 percent) think the roads are full of people who can afford to regularly shrug off $50 tickets but will somehow slow down for $100 tickets? Apparently so.

It should also be noted that despite Mayor Vince Gray's assertions that speed camera tickets are entirely about public safety and not about raising revenue, his budget director pointed out at the news conference that under the mayor's proposal, the city would have $3.5 million more in speed camera revenues than what's currently projected for the fiscal 2013 budget, while the $50-fine proposal would leave a $30 million hole in the budget. To make it harder for the council to to undercut his proposal, Gray is planning to spend that $3.5 million on hiring 100 new police officers.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • James Birchfield

    Chief Lanier, why don't you concentrate on making your officers obey the very laws that they are sworn to uphold??? I see DC police chatting away on cell phones while they drive around the city, blatantly run red lights without having emergency lights or siren on, routinely speed down neighborhood streets and park in far corners of parking lots to take a nap in a marked cruiser. Worrying about the reduced revenue that the lowered fines from speed cameras will produce shouldn't be on your mind because it's all about safety, right??? *WINK, WINK* Clean up your house!

  • Drez

    Why is the fine structure for speeding in a residential area the same as the fine structure for speeding on 395, 295, 50, etc?

    Gray just lowered the fines for speeding on neighborhood streets. Thats just wrong.

  • nowaitadaminit

    MM: Please put Drez in Moderation Hell. He has Gray all up in his gray matter. It's beginning to be pathetic.

    Drez, if you know so damn much about what is 'just right' for the city WhyTF don't you run for office and do those right things?

    Damn, Dawg at least you could try to offer some solutions some of the time. All you do is Bitch, Bitch, Bitch about anything the Mayor does. I won't even begin to wonder why because you probably don't know yourself. Get a life. Wish for the best in our hometown. We don't need constant whiners. We need uplifting citizens who want to see this city progress.

  • Drez

    To Hell with your idiot ass.
    Your boy Gray just lowered fines for speeding through residential neighborhoods.
    If you're happy with that, your priorities suck.

  • Drez

    Shorter VG:
    People speeding on NJ, Montello, Connecticut, MLK, 16th, RI, Sherman, M, H, and in the neighborhood where you live and your kids play deserve a break.
    Fuck that.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Poor DowntownRez....Opps, I mean Drez.
    He's either slipping, drinking or both.
    Maybe something worse.

    I hope not because I want him to lose the strange and maniacal pre-occpation with the Mayor and be lucid enough to want the best for our city.

  • Drez

    One and the same. True.
    And lessening fines for speeding through the places where DC residents and voters live is a horrible idea. That is also true.
    A word to the (people who suppose themselves) wise.
    Who the hell is Gray serving with this nonsense? Not those who live in DC, that's for sure.

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    LOL; you guys are funny, Drez & nowaitadaminit.

  • Ward-8

    To all the winers about the speed fine which our Mayor dilligently reduce in all probuability due too many complains from these Congressman who repersent these Suburban folks who is not one of us. However, I bet you want see no complaints or reduction in fines of those seed traps at the Virginia North Carolina boarder, yes them good Old Boys gonna get their money, complain all you want and then we are going to notify the DC DMV about it however, just in case you can hire one of the lawyers in these speed trap cities for a fee and a fine equal to more than the ticket however, they may get the Old Country Judge not to send the report to the DMV.

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  • Tracey

    Here's the thing. Getting two speeding tickets is the same as getting one so why would someone be mad at paying $100 but not mad at paying $100? I know my broke self is trying to pay neither.

    If the person saying "it's the cost of doing business" can afford to throw away money then they can affored to throw away money. Period.

    Why is $40 enough for MoCo who has less lights and stop signs, and street lights in residential areas but $50 isn't enough for DC. I think you all are giving too much credit to how much people are actually deterred by costs instead of simply being reckless people who don't mind tickets piling up.

  • Tracey

    ..and James I agree with you. When they can be bothered to turn on their damn sirens before speeding up on people and trying to run lights because they are impatient them maybe I will care a little more about the speed that the the average Joe does. I've almost been hit twice while crossing the street legally because a cop wanted to speed around. Once he had on no lights and no sirens and the other time he had on no siren and threw on the lights at the last second while speeding from behind a van. That second time he turned them right back off once he got through the light. Wack!