D.C. councilmembers seek to cut speed camera fines

It's a complaint from everyone who get a ticket from a speed camera in D.C. - the fine is too high. Now, three members of D.C. Council are pushing to lower those fines.

"This one is mine, the one with the brake light, so this is the car that I'm thinking caused the camera to go off," Sharell Dickerson of Southeast explained.

Dickerson went to the DMV Tuesday, hoping to argue her way out of the $150 ticket for going 43 mph in a 25.

"I mean, $150 dollars is outrageous," Dickerson continued.

Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Tommy Wells and Marion Berry introduced a bill Tuesday to tame the use of the automated enforcement devices. The cameras have brought in at least $85 million to the D.C. Treasury in the last year.

The bill would cut all fines to no more than $50, except for speed more than 20 mph over the limit or for red light runners.

"Our budget was balanced on speed cameras and that really undermines the whole credibility of the program, in terms of having the public believe this is about public safety," Councilman Tommy Wells explained.

Since speed cameras arrived to the district, traffic deaths have declined 80 percent. But do the fines have to be so high?

AAA Spokesman John Townsend said, "During the past three years, fines were increased 150 percent, and motorists simply didn't understand that "

Maryland resident Jessena Briscoe added, "I think the district trying to get money any way they can that's what I think, but who am I."