Its no secret that red light cameras can save lives. But remarkably thousands of drivers are ignoring them over and over again, leading to millions of dollars in fines being collected, according to numbers acquired by WUSA9. Our Special Assignment Unit dug into the data to find the main hotspots, where the most tickets are issued.
WUSA9 sent a "Freedom of Information Act" request to The Department of Motor Vehicles to get the most up-to-date data, and was given the numbers for a seven month period, between October, 2016 and April, 2017. In that period of time, nearly $13 million has been collected, including nearly $4.2 million at the top five cameras alone. The top collector, at New York Avenue and 4th Street NW, has brought in more than $946,000 in that seven month period.
Here's a break-down of the top five collectors in the city:
Number 5: 14th Street N/B @ K Street NW - Approx. $615,000
This camera is located adjacent to Franklin Square, in a busy commercial area, where cars and pedestrians are everywhere. It can be speculated that many cars get caught trying to "beat the light," since the area is often pretty congested. All in all, there have been 3,063 tickets issued for $617,335 in that seven month period.Number 4: 12th Street N/B @ Constitution Avenue NW - Approx. $750,000
This camera is located by a tourist hotspot, where thousands cross between the Smithsonian museums every single day. Meanwhile, cars heading northbound on 12th Street are just coming out of the underpass, below the National Mall. This mix of heavy car flow and pedestrian traffic could be deadly, and that's why a red light camera was installed. All in all, this location has collected 3,758 tickets for $754,725 in that seven month period.Number 3: North Capitol Street N/B @ Riggs Road NE - Approx. $900,000
Whereas the other cameras in the top five have been in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, this one is perhaps lower in volume. However there is a steady flow of cars, where North Capitol Street meets Riggs Road and Missouri Avenue. All in all, this location has issued 4,522 tickets for $899,622 in that seven month period.Number 2: New York Avenue W/B @ Florida Avenue NE - Approx. $940,000
This camera is located by one of the most notorious intersections in the city, when it comes to traffic. The intersection of the two major roadways lead to heavy backups on a daily basis, which may cause some drivers to lose patience and run lights.
Exacerbating the situation is that the westbound lane of New York Avenue is heading downhill, due to a bridge crossing the nearby railroad tracks. This downhill gradient might make it even more difficult for drivers to stop, if they're not paying attention.
All in all, this camera has been responsible for 4,389 tickets for $938,951 in that seven month period.Number 1: New York Avenue W/B @ 4th Street NW - Approx. $945,000
This camera is just a few blocks away from number four on the list, and is similarly well-known for its high congestion. It's located by the split between New York Avenue and Route 395, and is often backed up during rush hour. All in all this camera has issued 4,753 tickets for $946,325 over that seven month period.
This intersection has been a hotspot for many years. WUSA9 dug through the data and found out that it has been the top offender for five of the last six years.
WUSA9 also broke down the top collectors for speeding cameras. The top offender brought in $11 million in that seven month period. You can see the results here: