New D.C. traffic cameras to monitor stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks

A new crop of traffic cameras is set to be installed in D.C. this fall. But instead of catching motorists who run red lights, these cameras will cite drivers who roll through stop signs.

The cameras will target the types of violations that police officials say receive the most complaints from residents: drivers who don’t stop at stop signs, as well as those who speed, block intersections and fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Overweight and overheight trucks will also be ticketed.

The initial rollout of these so-called “stop sign cameras” will be placed at intersections near schools, said D.C. spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump.

Reports earlier this week indicated that the city is planning 16 to 24 new cameras, but Crump said the number is not set in stone since contracts have not been finalized.

A D.C. Council task force is reviewing the plans. Police anticipate that the entire council will approve the cameras in September.

Crump said that once the cameras are installed, there will be a 30-day transition period when offending drivers will receive warning tickets.

Earlier this summer, a similar proposal was floated in the town of Glen Echo, where the mayor is asking state and county officials to amend laws to allow stop sign cameras. Currently, Maryland only allows red light and speed cameras.

There is no such prohibition in the District, where the fine for running a stop sign would be $50. The fine for blocking an intersection would be $100, while failing to yield to pedestrians would set drivers back $250.

The District’s network of existing traffic cameras generated $55.1 million in 2011 and is expected to bring in even more revenue in 2012, AAA reported in June. That same month, D.C. added 25 new speed camera locations.

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