Chairman, City Council, Washington, D.C.: Allow DC Residents to Vote on Banning Speed Cameras
  • Petitioned Vincent Orange

This petition was delivered to:

At-Large Member, City Council, Washington, D.C.
Vincent Orange
Chairman, City Council, Washington, D.C.
Kwame Brown
Chairman Pro Tempore, City Council, Washington, D.C.
Mary Cheh
City Council, Washington, D.C.
David Catania
At-Large Member, City Council, Washington, D.C.
Phil Mendelson
At-Large Member, City Council, Washington, D.C.
Michael Brown
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Jim Graham
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Jack Evans
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Muriel Bowser
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Tommy Wells
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Yvette Alexander
Ward Member, City Council, Washington, DC
Marion Barry

Chairman, City Council, Washington, D.C.: Allow DC Residents to Vote on Banning Speed Cameras

    1. Tom Elliott
    2. Petition by

      Tom Elliott

      Washington, DC

Washington D.C.'s City Council takes the unofficial city slogan -- "Taxation Without Representation" -- seriously, so much so that it's proposed officially adding the slogan to the city's flag. Unfortunately, this concern for empowering residents to impact the way our money is collected and spent by government does not extend to traffic cameras.

D.C. resident Tom Elliott recently attempted to file paperwork for a city-wide initiative that would allow residents to vote on the continued use of traffic cameras. The Board of Elections & Ethics informed him that such a vote is prohibited, in that its outcome could result in reduced revenue for the city. After being told that the only way to remove these cameras is, a) amend the city charter to allow for such a referendum, or b) ask the City Council to take this step itself, he asked every City councilmember to initiate either of these two actions. In making this request, he noted how either of these undertakings would help ameliorate the Council's concern over D.C.' "taxation without representation." Of the 13 councilmembers contacted, only Councilmember Mary Cheh responded and she politely dismissed the idea. Three other offices sent assurances that their councilmembers would review the matter; none ever responded further.

The undersigned simply ask for our voices to be heard. Whether traffic cameras are effective at raising revenue, reducing traffic accidents, or mitigating dangerous driving are all irrelevant. Government in America is meant to be of the people, for the people, by the people. If we don't want local police to use traffic cameras, that is reason enough to discontinue their use.

In the meantime, we, the undersigned, simply seek the opportunity for our opinions to be heard.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Three Golden Miles Net D.C. $28 Million

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Three golden miles net D.C. $28 million

      While some drivers bristle at use of the cameras - including many who travel New York Avenue from the Maryland suburbs - an overwhelming number of District residents surveyed are pleased with the citywide deployment of them.

    2. Red-Light Camera Case Turns Kafka-esque

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Red-Light Camera Case Turns Kafka-esque

      BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A class action claims the City of Center Point and Redflex Traffic Systems illegally ticket drivers by threatening them with a court appearance if they refuse to pay fines, though "no such court exists." Redflex owns and operates the traffic cameras for Center Point, which photographs cars believed to run red lights or stop signs or speed.

    3. Baltimore Woman Gets D.C. Traffic Tickets Despite Never Driving in D.C.

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Miriam Singer gets D.C. tickets despite never driving in D.C.

      Miriam Singer, an 87-year-old Baltimore resident, has received three speeding tickets from cameras in the District of Columbia over the past four months. Miriam Singer has never driven in the District of Columbia. "It's not my car," explained Singer. "It's obvious that it isn't from the photograph."

    4. D.C. Plan to Cover City w/ Traffic Cameras Draws New York Times' Attention

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Traffic Cameras Draw More Scrutiny by States

      WASHINGTON - The sudden flash lit up Christian Sevier's Honda Civic as he drove on New York Avenue here. But it would take a few weeks before the $150 speeding ticket in his mailbox explained what had happened.

    5. Pol: Nothing Generates More Anger Among Voters than Traffic Cameras

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Traffic cameras widely disliked, but use widens

      WASHINGTON - When it comes to red-light cameras, New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon says the people in his state have had enough. Nothing, he says, has generated more feedback in his five years as a legislator than his fight against the cameras. "People realize the government is institutionalizing a system to rip them off," says O'-Scanlon, a Republican.

    6. D.C. Pulled in $21 Million from Traffic Cameras Last Month

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      D.C. pulled in $21M from traffic cameras last month - Washington Business Journal

      Staff Washington Business Journal The District on Monday announced that it collected $21.2 million last month in traffic-camera fines, a 23 percent increase from the same period last year, the Washington Examiner reported. February's numbers bring the total the city has collected so far in fiscal year 2013 to $49.53 million.

    7. District Rakes in $92 million from Parking Tickets

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      District rakes in $92 million from parking tickets

      In a city that routinely deals in billions and trillions of dollars, $92 million might sound like a trifle but for the way it was extracted: one parking ticket at a time. Almost 1.9 million parking tickets were issued in the District in fiscal 2012, according to data that AAA obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    8. Traffic law 'turning point'? Ohio judge rules speed cameras violate rights

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Traffic law 'turning point'? Ohio judge rules speed cameras violate rights

      Feb. 22, 2013: Shown here is a red-light camera in downtown Washington, D.C.FoxNews.com Highway speed cameras just got ticketed. An Ohio judge ruled Thursday that a Cincinnati-area community's speed cameras violate drivers' rights under the state constitution, in what attorneys on the case called a first-ever ruling against the ubiquitous enforcement tool.

    9. D.C. Wrote 1.8 Million Parking Tickets Last Year

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      D.C. Wrote 1.8 Million Parking Tickets Last Year

      Photo by sciascia If only the entire D.C. government was as effective as its parking enforcement, huh? WJLA is reporting that D.C. wrote some 1.8 million parking tickets last year, an increase from the year prior: The city is writing tickets at a record date, raking in nearly $90

    10. U.S. Post Office Refuses To Pay Traffic Camera Tickets

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Post Office Refuses To Pay Traffic Camera Tickets

      Related News Post Office Refuses To Pay Traffic Camera Tickets Speed Camera Firm Denies Swedish Connection View Main Topics: Maryland Considers Photo Ticket Reform Legislative Auditor Faults Maryland Speed Camera Program Back To Front Page Traffic Camera Firm Countersues Traffic Camera Firm Over Patent Subscribe via RSS or E-Mail Post Office Refuses To Pay Traffic Camera Tickets Postal Service claims immunity from red light and speed camera tickets from East Cleveland, Ohio.

    11. D.C. takes in $2m from traffic cameras in December

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer

      The District's controversial traffic camera program collected nearly $2 million in December, up more than 2,000 percent from the same time in 2011, city records show.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/d.c.-takes-in-2m-from-traffic-cameras-in-december/article/2518966#.UPrncqHBOAq

    12. DC Cop Exposes City Speed Camera Racket

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      D.C. Cop Exposes City Speed Camera Racket

      It's great that a D.C. cop took this on. It's too bad that it took a D.C. cop to get the city to finally pay attention. Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson tried for months to persuade D.C.

    13. 2013: The Year of Traffic Camera Hell

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      District traffic cameras to more than double amid record revenues | WashingtonExaminer.com

      City's take skyrockets at start of 2013 fiscal year Traffic camera fines are poised to dip in the District, but one aspect of the controversial program is set to surge in 2013: the number of the devices that generate tickets for common traffic offenses like speeding and running stoplights.

    14. Mayor Gray Making Good on Threat of Blanketing City with Traffic Cameras

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      District traffic cameras to more than double amid record revenues | WashingtonExaminer.com

      City's take skyrockets at start of 2013 fiscal year Traffic camera fines are poised to dip in the District, but one aspect of the controversial program is set to surge in 2013: the number of the devices that generate tickets for common traffic offenses like speeding and running stoplights.

    15. Lawsuit: NYC rigged cameras to pick drivers' pockets

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Motorists File Class-Action Lawsuit Against NYC Over Red-Light Cameras

      NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Red-light cameras are gaining popularity across the country. Now, New York City is being sued after it was accused of rigging the lights to catch more drivers and write more tickets. They're "gotcha" cameras, mounted at intersections. Their photos catch and fine drivers running red lights.

    16. DC's Top 10 Money Earning Traffic Cameras

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer
      Top 10 D.C. Speed Cameras in 2012 | WashingtonExaminer.com

      Speed cameras along Interstate 295 generated nearly $24 million for the District over the past year, more than a quarter of the $85 million raised by all speed cameras in the city, AAA Mid-Atlantic reported. The highway, also known as the Anacostia Freeway, straddles the east side of the District and crosses over into Maryland to become the Baltimore Washington Parkway.

    17. As Council Considers Lowering Fines, Mayor Gray Threatens Raising Them

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer

      WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is raising questions about whether the District government can afford to lower speed camera fines and is considering a system of graduated fines where repeat offenders pay more.

      When asked about a proposal that would cap the fines at $50, which is supported by at least half of D.C. council members, Gray said he would need to see a fiscal impact statement before signing on.

      "Someone is going to have to demonstrate how it would be paid for, so that's the first question," Gray said.

      Photo enforcement brought in an estimated $80 million in 2010 and the mayor's proposal to expand the program is expected to generate an additional $25 million.

      http://www.wtop.com/?nid=109&sid=3082075

    18. CNBC: Red Light Cameras Help Cash-Strapped Cities

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer

      Kathleen McNeill isn't fighting your typical traffic ticket because it wasn't written by a police officer.

      An unmanned camera at a traffic intersection in Queens, N.Y. discreetly snapped an image of her car during a funeral procession—without her knowledge. A couple of weeks later, she received a surprise $50 ticket in the mail.

      The 51-year old auxiliary police sergeant from Rutherford, N.J. wasn't even driving. She was a passenger and part of a funeral procession.

      "'We don't stop at the red lights,' said the funeral people. It is New York State law that the funeral procession travels as one single car. So, we went along with it, " McNeill said.

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/49200378

    19. 'I'd like to see a red light camera at every intersection'

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer

      When D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray proposed his budget for the fiscal year that ended Sunday, city officials estimated the District would rake in tens of millions of dollars from speed and red light cameras.

      The District ended up making a lot more than it anticipated, and the extra cash helped D.C. rack up a surplus that Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi estimated on Friday would be at least $140 million.

      ... "I'd like to see a red light camera at every intersection," said Cheh, who is co-chairman of a task force that is reviewing fines. "There are some areas where the speed limit may be too low, and there be some areas where the speed camera is placed to be like a speed trap."

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/record-traffic-camera-revenue-a-boon-for-d.c.-budget/article/2509371#.UGmabqTyZ3Z

    20. DC Planning More Cameras

      Tom Elliott
      Petition Organizer

      Starting in October, though, D.C. will start buying more cameras for an expanded automated traffic enforcement network that won't only target red light-running and speeding, but also infractions such as rolling through stop signs and cutting off pedestrians in a crosswalk.

      http://dcist.com/2012/09/porter_street_speed_camera.php

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Patrick Truby FREDERICK, MD
      • over 1 year ago

      I am one of the many commuters to DC, these ticket are so expensive as to be damaging to peoples lives. At least lower fines during commuting hours when people are just trying to get into work

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Hermon Abdellas WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 1 year ago

      I believe it's an unfair fine.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cynthia Echeverria ARLINGTON, VA
      • over 1 year ago

      I go into DC for work and am only driving there for work. Tickets are taking away from income and appear to be more a corrupt racket, that is similar to mafia operations. This is disgraceful for our nations capitol to use technology in this manner. At least if there was an officer, I would be aware of adjust any driving behavior. In this case, I believe the cameras are flawed — but belatedly get his with a substantial fee on over one ticket. The city smells of corruption. I will gladly support its residents having the option to ban this practice. Perhaps if its officials would be more prudent and wise, it would not have to resort to this extortion.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Orkin BETHESDA, MD
      • over 1 year ago

      The fines our outragious

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jamal Harvey KING GEORGE, VA
      • almost 2 years ago

      DC uses speed cameras as a way to generate revenue instead of improving safety.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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