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7 On Your Side: Metro bus traffic citations

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We've seen it before.

Red light cameras have caught numerous Metrobuses allegedly running red lights, including this one. (Photo: Metropolitan Police Department)

7 On Your Side first showed you Metrobuses running red lights and speeding back in 2007, when ABC7’s cameras caught 10 buses going through red lights and 17 others rolling through stop signs.

But D.C.'s cameras caught a whole lot more.

7 On Your Side has obtained hundreds of camera tickets issued to Metro buses in 2010 and 2011. It’s more than $43,000 in fines for things like a bus blatantly running a red light.

One ticket cost a bus driver $250 for doing 30 over the limit on Eastern Avenue.

“When you run a red light or speed that's prone for an accident and someone to get seriously hurt," says Paul Donaldson.

Just last month, Metro's own dash camera video - obtained by ABC7’s partners WTOP - showed buses running red lights, hitting cars at a stop sign, a cross walk, even hitting a pedestrian.

And a day later, ABC7 captured exclusive video of a Metrobus backing up an exit ramp on 395 during rush hour.

WMATA Assistant General Manager for Buses Jack Requa says the transit agency is working on addressing instances like the ones captured in the tickets.

Metro acknowledges 132 buses were cited for speeding in 2010, but that's down from 311 in 2009.

“It’s not acceptable,” says Requa. “We train to reduce these numbers, we work with the operators and the numbers are showing that.”

When it comes to red light tickets in 2011, Metro say there was an increase - 117 compared to 97 in 2010. But those numbers are well below the 266 issued back in 2003.

“Red light violations are certainly something we want to try to avoid, we train our operators to drive in a safe and professional manner," Requa says. "We operate over 6 million hours in a year, we operate over 50 million miles so the frequency of a violation is minimal, once every 64,000 hours, once every 500,000 miles.”

Metro says what these tickets don't show are the millions of miles bus drivers go without a citation, where they operate safely and follow law.

Which is what they're supposed to do.

READ Metro's citation  numbers:

2010 and 2011
1 photo parking ticket
2 tickets for going 26-30 mph over
6 tickets for going 21-25 mph over
36 tickets for going 16-20 mph over
198 for going 11-15 mph over
131 Red light tickets

2010
Speeding Tickets
1 photo parking ticket
2 tickets for going 26-30 mph over
2 tickets for 21-25 mph over
17 for 16-20 mph over
77 for 11-15mph
99 tickets total

2011
Speeding tickets
4 tickets for 21-25
19 tickets for 16-20 mph over
121 tickets for 11-15

Total: 373 moving violations and 1 parking ticket.

(144 speeding tickets in 2011)
(99 red light tickets in 2011)
(99 speeding tickets in 2010)
(32 red light tickets in 2010)

Total ticket costs: More than $43,000.

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