Red light camera tickets bring in millions

There is growing outrage over the millions of dollars collected from red light camera tickets in the District. Now AAA is saying those cameras amount to a war on drivers.

There was a two-car accident with injury Tuesday afternoon in the intersection of 7th and Florida Avenue, NW, and witnesses say one car blew through the red light. There’s no red light camera at the intersection, but there are 50 at other intersections around the city and AAA has raised many questions whether Washington’s record $13 million in red light camera fines is more about safety or revenue.

“You better have a lot of dollars in your wallet if you’re driving in D.C. because they’re going to pick your pocket at every opportunity,” says Lon Anderson, a spokesman with AAA.

The company complains the cameras are not just fining motorists for running through red lights but for turning right on red without coming to a full stop or getting caught in the intersection in heavy traffic. The most red light tickets are given out at 4th and New York Avenue, NW.

D.C. pulled in $177 million through red light, speed and parking tickets last year. But not everyone’s complaining.

“On my bicycle I’ve been hit by a car running a red light,” says Richard Layman, a transportation blogger.

Richard Layman with the Bicycle Pass Organization says he supports the city and not AAA.

“They’re condoning people running red lights which is against the law and with a multi-ton vehicle going very fast can be very dangerous.”