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For those who Hate Speed Cameras and MPD Telling it Like it is Part Two

by Prince Of Petworth September 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm 46 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Thought you’d enjoy this bit of news from MPD:

“Based upon the fact that this particular camera [at 7th and Franklin NE] has been knocked down several times, MPD determined that we could not risk it being damaged. We had to permanently remove it and we will augment with mobile enforcement vehicles.”

A member of the listserv responds:

“I appreciate the MPD answers but it hardly speaks well for policing that the response to a vandalized speed camera is to remove it. If my house is broken into, am I supposed to remove myself from the city in order to be safe?”

MPD telling it like it is:

“Sir, the speed camera was not vandalized, it had been struck a number of times by vehicles. Based upon the cost associated with the repairs and maintenance, it was determined that it could be positioned elsewhere and we would augment that area with mobile and fixed vehicle enforcement units.

Should vehicles continue to strike your home or other buildings on your property, I am certain that you would evaluate the position of these dwellings and fortify the property boundaries and/or you may in fact elect to move.

If your house was broken into, most would take proactive steps to fortify and secure your home in an attempt to eliminate break ins from occurring again. Should you be victimized repeatedly, you may in deed elect to move from the city in order to be/feel safe.

To maximize our flexibility and impact, the Metropolitan Police Department is using both non-fixed speed enforcement cameras and fixed-location cameras to monitor aggressive speeding. Speed camera enforcement zones are selected by the MPD based on recent incidents of speeding-related fatalities and crashes, proximity to school zones and other places where children or other vulnerable populations may be present, and known sites of chronic speeding. The deployment of the non-fixed speed camera units is at the sole discretion of MPD traffic safety experts.

Some like the fact that speed cameras are permanently placed and they see a noticeable reduction in speed by most motorists. We also hear the down side. Motorists that exceed the posted speed limit are faced with no discretion in receiving notices of infraction. All that violate are issued notices of infraction, even your police, fire and EMS vehicles.

Some still like the visibility that a traffic patrol officer brings. That traffic patrol officer has discretion in issuing verbal and written warnings but also has the authority to issue multiple citations during a one traffic stop. The down size is that you are stopped and detained roadside for a period that may exceed 10 minutes and experience that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing if the traffic patrol officer will cite you or not. Traffic stops by mobile enforcement units also have a calming effect on traffic and serve as an immediate deterrent to actually slow down other commuters.

I have also heard that “speed cameras promote economic fascism, not public safety”. We want you to know that we actively listen to you and those we serve and protect. MPD has brought forth technology, tools and staffing in an attempt to reduce, with a goal of eliminating, speeding vehicles that threaten your safety and our community. Please understand that no one program will fit all.”

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