D.C.

D.C. red-light speed camera ban?

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(AP/ABC7) -- A Republican congressman from Michigan may propose a ban on speed and red-light enforcement cameras in the District of Columbia.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has circulated a bill that would strip the city government of its authority to use the cameras. A spokesman for Bentivolio says the bill has not yet been finalized but that the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away."

The Congressman's office wants to be very clear that this isn't some sort of a personal vendetta. They say he hasn't received a ticket since coming to Washington.

The move was criticized by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress, and other advocates for self-rule for the district.

"He thinks that he can raise his profile after doing nothing for six months,” Norton says Friday. “We are going to set him straight."

Red light and speed cameras are widespread in the District and generated $85 million in revenue during the last fiscal year. Mayor Vincent Gray argues that the cameras make the city safer, but critics say the fines are too high.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says more than 70 percent of traffic accident fatalities have dropped since the cameras were turned on in 2001.

One stretch of New York Avenue has proved especially lucrative to D.C. A series of nine cameras between the split to I-295 and Third Street Northwest brought in about $30,000 per day over the past two years.

D.C. motorists have mixed feelings about whether a Michigan lawmaker should be getting involved in dc traffic safety laws.

“I think they should spend their time on more national affairs instead of District affairs,” says one motorist.

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