Frustrated with the District’s use of traffic cameras and speed traps, a Washington D.C. couple filed a lawsuit in hopes of getting rid of them.
Washington D.C. is one of the most notorious places in the country for traffic enforcement cameras and speed traps. While they generate millions in revenue, some argue they’re more of a nuisance that do very little for traffic safety. As a result, a class-action lawsuit has been filed to get rid of them.
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One of the plaintiffs in the case is Reggie Matthews. Both Matthews and his wife, Teresa, were ticketed on the same day by the same camera, only an hour apart. They were fined for going 55 and 52 in a 50 mph zone. Each ticket totaled $200. It should be noted, however, that it was a 50 mph zone “until the District lowered the limit to 40, declared it a work zone and doubled the fine even though there was no evidence of work and only one sign, so small it could be obstructed by a passing vehicle.” When commenting on the matter, Matthews said:
“There’s no city, state, or country that has the right to gouge its citizens, at least not in America…That’s not what the country stands for…After I got the ticket I happened to be watching TV and I came across a story about that particular speed camera and I decided I wanted to see what we could do to make this right for all the people who’ve been victimized by this.”
Attorney Gary Mason also chimed in and said:
“Consumers come to us because it’s not fair. We file a lawsuit because it’s not lawful. D.C. is in violation of its own regulations as well as national guidelines.”
According to those guidelines, “there should be multiple signs alerting drivers to a work zone and when the work is over, signs should come down and regular speed limits resumed.” Mason added:
“The work in the construction zone ended in May of 2019 and our clients were ticketed in November. So we’re talking about May 2019 to late 2019, early 2020 when that area was designated a work zone where no work was taking place and the tickets were doing nothing but generating revenue for the city.”
Additionally, the lawsuit claims the lowering of the speed limit may be been done illegally. According to Title 18 2200.2 of the District’s law, “a decision to raise or lower the speed limit is made on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation.” An investigation into the matter discovered an engineering and traffic investigation was never conducted before the speed was lowered.
When commenting on the speed-trap zones and traffic cameras, Matthews said, “There’s no other way to dress this up then for what it is. It is a cash-cow for the District.” He added that average working people deserve better, and he and his wife are happy to take a stand and take the lead on the lawsuit if it means getting justice.
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