DC Has More Traffic Cameras Than Any Other American City

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The nation’s capital has earned some pretty dubious traffic-related honors in the past, including worst traffic and worst roads. Now it has a new title: Most traffic cameras.

A database compiled from public records shows that Washington, D.C., and its metro area contain more speed and red light cameras than any other place in the country, Vox reports.

With 703 traffic cameras, the district dwarfs other metropolitan areas, despite its far smaller population.

There are approximately 6 million people living in the Washington metropolitan area. In the New York metro area, there are more than 20 million people, yet there are just 564 traffic cameras.

Similarly, Chicago is home to almost 10 million people, but just 511 traffic cameras. Dallas has nearly 7 million residents and less than 250 traffic cameras.

The speed cameras are a big revenue generator for the city. Together the cameras brought in a total of $85 million in 2012. Two cameras, in particular, brought in a large portion of that money.

Two speed cameras on Interstate 295 handed out more than 100,000 tickets in 2012, and collected almost $16 million in fines. Another set of cameras in a tunnel on the infamous K Street doled out more than 61,000 tickets during the first seven months of 2013, bringing in $8.1 million in fines.

Drivers were up in arms about the tickets, complaining that the city set the speed limit artificially low in order to collect more money from the speed cameras.

A speed camera in Northwest D.C., along Porter Street, was removed in 2012 after residents complained that the speed limit was set too low.

Only the district and two other states have laws expressly allowing the use of speed cameras. Thirteen states have passed laws forbidding the use of speed cameras, while 28 states have no specific law regarding speed cameras. Seven states have laws limiting their use.

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