D.C.

D.C.'s hidden speed cameras: Designed to slow speeders or raise revenue?

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Most drivers hate speed cameras. Now in D.C., there's a new reason to hate them.

AAA says new hidden speed cameras are being used simply to make money, not to slow people down.

Motorists in D.C. are used to the roadside cars with the speed device out the window or the stationary elevated cameras.

But now there's one on I-295 northbound heading to Maryland that you might only see in your review mirror after it has snapped your picture.

And AAA doesn't like it.

"They're sitting ducks, that's the problem," John Townsend of AAA says. "The device themselves should not be hidden or obscured so that motorists can't see them. It revives the old dispute: are these devices to improve safety in the city, or are they to improve the revenue stream?"

No question the city's getting more per ticket. In the height of the budget crisis two years ago, the basic fine rose from $50 to now $125, more than double, while the rest of the fines all went up $50.

Suburbanites complain and statistics show they get most of the tickets.

"The vast majority of the people who get the tickets cannot vote for you or vote against you," Townsend says.

But some residents say the speed might be slowing people down and saving lives.

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