DC raises some speed limits -- slightly - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC raises some speed limits -- slightly

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The Gray Administration is about to raise -- slightly -- the speed limits on two of D.C.'s busier roadways: Benning Road near the old Pepco power plant and on DC-295.

The decision is part of fallout from the large number of complaints about automated speed enforcement cameras.

The cameras have been finding so many violators that in fiscal year 2012, the city collected $178 million in fines.

Some of that money came from Lynn Carter, who visits family in D.C. Carter told us: "Three times I've been caught on Benning Road. [A] $250 ticket each time."

Benning Road is where D.C. motorist Charles Johnson was also nailed for speeding. He got a $125 ticket. The amount of the violation is determined by how fast over the limit the car was going.

City residents like Johnson have complained loudly, and both the District Council and Mayor Vincent Gray are acting. The Mayor, through executive order, has lowered the fines somewhat. And the City Council is considering legislation that would further lower the fines for speed enforcement cameras.

Motorists say part of the problem is that the speed cameras are located on a part of Benning Road, which is eight lanes wide, with a speed limit of only 30 miles an hour.

The Gray Administration has now decided to raise the speed limit on this ultra-wide part of Benning Road to 35 miles an hour.

And on nearby DC-295, where the posted speed limits vary from 40 to 45 to 50 miles an hour, the limit will all be set at a "consistent" speed of 50 miles an hour. The new (slightly higher) speed limit signs will probably come to DC-295 (and to Benning Road) sometime early next week.

The Gray Administration says it's studying other D.C. roadway speed limits to see if they also need to be raised.

The City Council is expected to decide soon whether to further lower the fines for speed camera violations.

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