Red-Light Cameras Bring Big Bucks to D.C.

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The intersection of New York Avenue westbound and 4th Street NW is the most ticketed intersection in D.C. (Credit: Kevin Patrick/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

The intersection of New York Avenue westbound and 4th Street NW is the most ticketed intersection in D.C. (Credit: Kevin Patrick/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Red-light cameras drive motorists crazy but are bringing big bucks to the District.

In the past year, D.C. red-light cameras generated more than 90,000 tickets and $13 million in revenue for the city — both record highs.

The District’s top five intersections for red-light cameras issued nearly 24,000 tickets and generated more than $3.5 million in 2012. Three of those intersections are on New York Avenue.

There has long been a battle in D.C. between proponents and opponents of red-light cameras. Proponents say red-light running is a public safety issue. Opponents argue that the cameras are nothing more than a cash cow for the city.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend says it’s a bit of both.

The thing most people aren’t aware of, Townsend says, is that the vast majority of the tickets are for so-called “rolling rights” as opposed to just blowing through the intersections. Townsend says that signs need to be erected to alert drivers of the fact that they’re being nabbed for rolling rights.

Rolling right accidents account for far fewer injuries and deaths than t-bone crashes, says Townsend. In that regard, he notes, “It’s all about the money.”

The top five intersections are:

  • New York Avenue westbound at 4th Street NW — 5,297 tickets; $794,500
  • South Capitol Street ramp southbound before I Street SW — 4,884 tickets; $732,600
  • New York Avenue westbound at Florida Avenue NE — 4,849 tickets; $732,350
  • Suitland Parkway westbound at Stanton Road SE — 4,679 tickets; $701,850
  • New York Avenue westbound at New Jersey Avenue NW — 4,134 tickets; $620,100

WNEW’s Kevin Patrick contributed to this report. Follow Kevin and WNEW on Twitter.

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