New Speed Camera by Nats Park – Do Speed Cameras Ticket in Both Directions?


A reader sends in from O and South Capitol Street, SW by Nationals Park. Does anyone know if the cameras in the center lane catches both sides of the street? Or does it only capture in one direction?

Ed. Note:Yes, yes, we shouldn’t speed at all – ok, ok, understood – thank you. Nevertheless does anyone know?

12 Comment

  • No. Not all states have (2) tags so the units only measure speed as the car is traveling away from it, not towards it, in order to guarantee that the tag is captured (all cars have tags on the rear).

  • DC1

    That camera pictured only captures (or scams, if you want to call it the proper way) the vehicles driving away from it.

    • yes, it is a huge scam to catch people who are breaking the law, in a neighborhood where a pedestrian was killed by a speeding truck (google Amy Polk), along a route that kids will cross in a few months to get to the reopened Van Ness Elementary School, in a way that frees up police to investigate and prevent other crimes.

      • DC1

        1. You can kill someone with a vehicle even driving under the DC speed limit.
        2. If you have to drive with your eyes glued to the speedometer of your car to make sure you don’t “break the law”, pedestrians, cyclists, etc better watch out because you don’t have time to pay attention to them.
        3. I’ve only seen MPD enforce a speed violation once in my life. Pretty sure it’s not keeping them away from crimes.
        4. Why do I call them scams? Well, I have received 2 citations where I proved them that I wasn’t speeding (or even close to speeding for that matter) and both times the tickets were dismissed because of lack of evidence or equipment ‘mis-calibration’… sounds like the perfect revenue maker!
        5. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

        • HaileUnlikely

          They don’t ticket until 10 or 11 mph over the speed limit (they’re not supposed to, anyway. If they ticket when you’re driving slower than the speed limit, I guess all bets are off), but anyway, most people can tell whether or not they’re driving close to vs. waaaay over the speed limit without having their eyes glued to the speedometer. And yeah, you indeed can kill somebody when driving under the speed limit, but research shows quite clearly that the probability of severe injury or death increases very rapidly with each additional mph.

          • To be fair and I don’t consider them a total scam, if there are going to be speed cameras they should ticket as soon as you break the speed limit, and speed limits should be adjusted accordingly.
            Having a speed limit that is made to be exceeded but only by X amount is absurd and certainly makes it seem like a scam. I know I’ve been ticketed for going 8mph over. VA has shorter yellow light to catch DC and MD drivers running reds (which would be yellow in DC or MD).
            It may not be a scam but it is without a doubt predatory and have about as much to do with public safety as parking enforcement. Yes people could die because some jerkass is illegally parking in front of a hydrant and yes crash more when they speed, but as a lifelong (responsible) speeder from a family of speeders, you memorize where they are and slow down for them, then speed back up. Add to that fact that they pretty much only work on long straight (not very dangerous) roads and I see no evidence public safety is the primary reason for them.

        • If you have to drive with your eyes glued to the speedometer to avoid going above the speed limit, you don’t know how to drive and you need to get out of a car before you kill someone.

      • Safety patrol, you are making two key assumptions with your comment:

        1. Speed limits are set appropriately. There are Fed regs, and also expert opinion & guidance, about how to set a speed limit. Based on research and experience, I know that the jurisdictions in this area rarely follow them. As a result, the limits are set too low.

        2. That the cameras are adjusted properly. Not always the case and the longer the system has been in place – ie, the older the equipment – the less likely this is to be true.

        I have a third problem with the cameras: we know Police and other city officials collude to increase revenue, I have specific reason not to trust that the speed cameras are set as officials say they are. Below is a link to an article about how Chicago officials shortened yellow lights that were camera’d, with a reference to a “quirk” about DC speed cameras:

  • It doesn’t capture in either direction cause the battery is dead.

  • WHHHAAAAA!!!!! I live in Arlington (or Fairfax or Chantilly or Olney or Rockville etc.) and those horrible terrible irresponsible DC leaders are sending me tickets for doing what I would NEVER consider doing around my own family and neighbors in the burbs.

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