Dear PoP – Rant: DC photo enforcement

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

On the heels of this morning’s Post story on speed cameras. We previously lamented speed cameras this summer.

“Dear PoP,

Here’s a rant for you that I cut and pasted from my online defense statement for a DC photo enforcement speeding ticket I ‘received.’ Supposedly I was going 11-15 mph above the limit at the 3100 Block of N. Capitol St. NW. I only found out about the ticket because I logged on to pay for a different parking ticket.

“I learned of this ticket, issued 10/30/2010, when I logged on today 12/2/2010 to pay a separate parking violation. I’m not sure what DC’s photo enforcement program involves, but I’m pretty sure getting a notification of the ticket is a required step! I have not received any ticket or photo evidence to go along with this ticket, and only learned about it because I had to pay a parking fine (I always pay promptly).

My defense is this: I refuse to pay a fine, much less extra late fees, for a violation that I have not been made aware of, and that DC has not provided any evidence of. If there is no photo evidence, how am I supposed to know if I was even in DC that day, much less defend what speed I was going on a particular road? What’s to stop DC from issuing tickets to the wrong vehicle if no evidence of the speeding violation can be provided? If DC wants to use photo enforcement instead of pulling people over, then it will need to PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE AND NOTIFY THE DRIVER OF THE TICKET!

Given the serious nature of a delinquent payment, how is DC going to improve it’s process for notifying drivers? If something gets lost in the mail, and I end up with a boot on my car and can’t get to work, who is responsible? Based on my experience so far, photo enforcement seems like a way to take something commonplace like getting pulled over for speeding and paying a fine into something with greater consequences and costs, like delinquent payment fines and getting booted.

Drop the ticket, or send me the ticket and photo evidence and reset the notification date so I’m not stuck paying late fees.”

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