WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Speed camera revenue in The District leaped an astounding 91.4 percent in 2016 from the previous year led by a notorious camera in the 600 Block of Kenilworth Ave. NE, according to a new report from AAA Mid-Atlantic.
"This is a speed trap right out of 'Smokey and the Bandit'," said Jon Townsend of the AAA as he watch the flashing lights on the camera issue citation after citation.
The single camera at the Kenilworth NE location generated $20 million in revenue in 2016, according to AAA's analysis of data provided by the District.
The camera covers a frontage road the allows traffic to exit from southbound Kenilworth Ave. towards Benning Road. Unwitting motorists exit the 50 mph highway into a 25 mph zone with no warning or transition, according to Townsend.
A prominent speed limit sign placed on the narrow median between the two roadways says 50 mph, which confuses unwitting motorists on the 25 mph ramp, Townsend observed. The situation is compounded by the fact the camera is hidden from view behind a railroad bridge abutment.
One motorist who did not want to be identified because she is a Capitol Police officer told WUSA9 she and her husband racked up $1,900 in fines in one week in August of 2016 before they realized the camera was there. They eventually settled with the city for $300 in total fines.
According to the AAA report, DC led the region in speed camera revenue growth by collecting nearly $100 million on over one million citations issued in 2016.
Research has shown the presence of speed cameras yield long-term safely benefits.
DC Police Spokeswoman Margarita Mikhaylova told the Washington Post the city's speed camera program is "100 percent about safety."
DC police said they cannot independently verify the findings of the AAA Mid-Atlantic.
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