Civic News
Data / Technology

Cool map alert: DC’s most lucrative speed traps

WBJ gets to the bottom of how much D.C. is making on fines from these cameras.

Which cameras are bringing in the most dough for D.C. gov? (Photo by Flickr user Dave Dugdale, used under a Creative Commons license)

D.C. has a lot of speed cameras. But there’s one speed camera in the southbound lane of Kenilworth Avenue that, in 2016, accounted for 10 percent of the total revenue made from D.C.’s speeding and red light cameras. That’s one hardworking camera.

This data comes via the Washington Business Journal, which put in a Freedom of Information Act request and mapped the results. What they found is that D.C. made around $190 million in fines from 145 cameras in 2016, but that the most “prolific” cameras are all in similar kinds of places — major road entrances to the District proper. Some find this placement a little suspicious.

“It is clear to me they have positioned these to maximize the revenue,” David Brunori, professor of public policy at George Washington University told WBJ. “It is clear that the top ones are all commuter routes.”

Others say the placement is determined by where the cameras can do the most to keep people safe.

Who’s right? It’s complicated. But the WBJ‘s interactive map showing the cameras and the amounts they each pulled in in 2016 is fun to play around with.

See the map

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