The writer is chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.

The Office of the Inspector General recently issued a report on parking and traffic enforcement in the District. Although I disagree with several of the conclusions in the report, I appreciate the opportunity to review the issues identified so we can fortify the integrity of our traffic safety program.

After the inspector general’s report, Post columnist Dana Milbank complained about receiving traffic tickets for, as he wrote, “moving slowly and braking until . . . what a reasonable person might call ‘stopping’ ” at a stop sign and for “a slow-rolling stop” before a right turn at a red light [“The District’s war on motorists,” Washington Sketch, Sept. 16].

The easiest way to avoid receiving tickets for speeding or running a red light or a stop sign is to just not do it. But we also need an enforcement system that is both accurate and fair.

Indeed, we are revising several practices — some are in response to the OIG report and some already were underway — to strengthen our traffic-safety program and to provide vehicle owners with additional information on why they received a ticket. Among those changes: requiring officers to take photos when using digital, handheld ticketing devices, deploying new speed-camera technology that more clearly highlights the speeding vehicle when more than one car is in the image and ending the practice of issuing tickets when a license plate in the image doesn’t match the information in a database.

While traffic fines, which are penalties for breaking the law, do result in revenue for the District, the Metropolitan Police Department does not benefit from the fines it issues for traffic violations. Indeed, over the past six years, the MPD local budget has increased by just 0.1 percent, not even enough to cover increases in salaries.

When we reviewed the two traffic tickets Milbank received, it was clear that he failed to stop before making a right turn at a red light and at a stop sign. In both instances, District law requires a driver to come to a complete stop before entering the crosswalk and before proceeding. The reason is simple: Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to drivers who break the law by not stopping before the crosswalk. Before making a right on red or simply rolling through the intersection, a driver usually looks left to identify any oncoming vehicles and might not see the pedestrian stepping into the crosswalk. By coming to a complete stop, drivers are able to scan the immediate area to identify pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers at the intersection. It literally takes only a few seconds to avoid endangering another person’s life.

In enforcing traffic safety in the District, our goal is to modify driver behavior so that pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists are safer while using our roadways. In the past decade, while our city’s population has increased by 13 percent, fatalities from traffic collisions have plummeted by more than 70 percent and injuries have dropped by more than one-third. Additionally, speed-related traffic collisions are on a clear downward trend over the past three years, according to a recent traffic safety report produced by Howard University .

That is why it is very disappointing to read Lon Anderson, government relations manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic, defending motorists who roll through stop signs and red lights. For him to say that running red lights and speeding on District streets isn’t “even marginally related to safety” is simply baffling. It is equally disconcerting to see Anderson refer to a system that provides vehicle owners with a notice and a photograph or video of the traffic violation and the opportunity to appeal the ticket as an example of a “system run wild.” Although AAA represents drivers, not pedestrians or cyclists, traffic violations can put all of them at risk.

The writer is chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.