Traffic cameras in Washington, D.C., issued a whopping $84.9 million in tickets to motorists last year, according to news reports.
The cameras, which monitor speed and traffic violations such as failing to stop at a red light, have auto-generated more than 243,000 tickets since 2011, the Daily Mail reported.
The most profitable camera, keeping watch over four lanes of traffic on a key commuter route, has taken $8.1 million in fines alone.
Despite the orange warning signs at each end of the Washington Circle tunnel, roughly 205 drivers a day slip over the 25-mph limit and land themselves with a $50 to $100 fine.
While city officials say their concern is road safety, critics say the speed cameras are a profitable side line for the District’s budget, noting drivers face a fine, but no points on their license.
“I’d like to think I financed a few parades in the city, but you know, if you speed, that’s just one of the things that comes along with it,” D.C. resident Michael Burke told NBC Washington.
Watchdog.org reported in neighboring Virginia that more cities are using ticket-writing traffic cameras — as well as shortened yellow-light intervals — to generate more revenue. The National Motorists Association said its studies have shown no correlation between these practices and safer roads.
Indeed, the NMA said such tactics can have the reverse effect, creating more rear-end collisions at intersections and causing some motorists to drive slower and impede the flow of traffic unnecessarily.