I think most people understand that speed and red light cameras are all about making money. In D.C., they pulled in about $79 million in 2012, but revenue fell last year to about $75 million. From January to April of this year, they only pulled in about $11 million. What this means is that people aren’t running as many red lights, and they’re not speeding like they used to. But that’s not any concern to public officials. To them, all that’s happening is they’re losing money. For this reason, they’ve installed 15 new cameras.
In D.C., if you run a red light, it’s a $150 fine. That is, if you’re not a cop:
So, they were able to find a handful whose red light citations were not dismissed. But there were 14 other cases where they got away with running red lights. In general, we see police held to a completely different standard than the rest of us. And this is yet another example.
However, I don’t think the solution is necessarily to force these police officers to pay like the rest of normal human beings. I think they should get rid of these cameras. And what that would mean is a lot less money for D.C. On the other hand, forcing each cop red light violator to pay up might make them decide to scrap the entire camera system anyway.