The nation’s capital richly deserves its reputation for enriching its coffers by handing out millions of traffic and parking tickets each year, but now the District of Columbia has set a new record: In three years, it has issued a staggering $1 billion in tickets.
AAA Mid-Atlantic serves in a watchdog capacity for the District on this issue, and John Townsend, public relations manager for the organization, spoke with the media about the controversial milestone.
“I don’t know another local jurisdiction in the entire nation that has generated as much money from traffic tickets, parking tickets and moving violations,” Townsend said in a local ABC affiliate report. “That tells us that things are out of control and out of hand in the District of Columbia.”
“We’ve looked high and low,” Townsend said. “We looked across the globe and we have not found one major study that proves there is a link between the amount of the fine and compliance.”
WJLA reported on the lucrative ticketing program:
Nearly three million motorists were on the receiving end of traffic and parking citations last year, totaling $375 million.
In a study comparing the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, D.C. had the highest traffic fines per capita by a long shot at $170 per person, the next closest, Chicago, was $101.
As Breitbart News reported one year ago, AAA Mid-Atlantic used data from the District DMV Adjudication Caseload studies, which show DMV processed 2.6 million citations in Fiscal Year 2017, which increased to $2.7 million in 2018.
The report included what now looks like prophecy: “In the years to come, District ticket revenue could increase substantially in the wake of the draconian fine regime and the tougher penalties for traffic infractions that went into effect on January 4, 2019,” Townsend said.
Breitbart News also reported last year that money collected through parking and photo citation enforcement is kept in the District’s General Fund, which is used to fund government operations, debt financing, and to subsidize water and sewer services.
In 2018, the General Fund sat at about $9.1 billion, according to Washington City Paper.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.