Reckless D.C. Mayor Endangers Streets of Nation’s Capital

Reckless Mayor Caught on Camera

Click to enlarge the "evidence" provided by ATS

Last month, the reckless mayor of the District of Columbia hurtled down East Capitol Street in North East Washington at the breakneck speed of 43 MPH — a full 13 miles per hour in excess of the speed limit. Fortunately, scofflaw Adrian M. Fenty’s vehicular rampage was stopped dead in its tracks two weeks and four days later when a ticket was finally dropped in the U.S. mail.

American Traffic Systems (ATS) had issued the demand for the immediate payment of $50 to the “DC DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS,” the registered owner of the tiny taxpayer-funded Smart car. As one can see from the photographs taken by the ATS machine, Mayor Fenty was driving without due care and attention by straddling a second lane without any apparent use of a turn signal — just the sort of thing for which ATS plans to begin issuing tickets as part of the public-private partnership to boost revenue with “secondary violations.”

Now, we don’t actually think Fenty’s driving in this case endangered anyone. Driving 43 MPH on a six-lane boulevard on a clear day in light traffic is what the safe and reasonable majority of drivers do. By underposting speed limits and criminalizing ordinary conduct, the District has been able to profit from more than 3,732,234 photo tickets issued since 1999 worth about $280 million. The difference in this particular case is that Fenty is a hypocrite. The photographic money machine can only keep flashing if mayors like Fenty demonize motorists who are not endangering anyone. The other difference is that when we do that, we get the ticket and we have to pay it.

Attention Maryland High School Students: This is the mayor's plate

Attention Maryland High School Students: This is the mayor's plate

In Fenty’s case, the cost of the car, the gas, and the tickets are all paid by the taxpayer. In fact, you would never have known about this incident had the Washington City Paper not known that the mayor and his personal assistant frequently drive the black and gray Smart car with license plate CV-6154. Reporter Mike DeBonis ran that plate through the online database and caught the May 11 incident before it was erased from the system.

Now that Fenty has been caught, a city spokesman told the City Paper, “He’ll pay the ticket.”

What do you want to bet that would be the first time he’s ever paid with his own money? Next time, he’ll probably just take the motorcade.

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3 Responses to Reckless D.C. Mayor Endangers Streets of Nation’s Capital

  1. Andrea says:

    Actually, driving that fast in DC is a very dangerous thing to do. Unlike many other areas, there are tons of pedestrians and cyclists in DC who also use the roadways and crosswalks. If I’m hit by a car going 20-25 MPH, I will be scraped up and may even break a bone or two, but I will likely live and fully recover. If I’m hit at anything over 30mph, I will likely suffer serious injuries and could even be dead. Speed limits need to be strictly enforced. If people had just obeyed traffic laws to begin with and didn’t constantly drive in excess of the speed limit, run red lights, and do other stupid things to endanger the lives of those around them, then we would have never arrived at the point where camera monitoring was needed. If you follow the law, you won’t get a ticket. It’s very simple. It is sad we’ve gotten to this “big brother” point, but I see it as necessary until people learn how to follow the law.

    Another good example of “big brother” sans the revenues argument are the crime cameras in DC. I lived for years in a neighborhood plagued by crime. A particular corner was very bad. I HATED the idea of having a crime camera there, but began to recognize that the crime wasn’t going away and something had to be done. The camera was installed and within a week the crime at that corner dramatically decreased. Three years later and the crime there is still almost non-existent.

    Again, I am not a supporter of government intrusions or surveillance. But I recognize that we have a population that is far less law-abiding than it was a few decades ago. We only have ourselves (collectively) to blame for needing this type of monitoring.

  2. I would love the press to make a big fuss of this and for him to have to take a press conference and answer questions!

  3. Jim O'Brien says:

    Why was the Mayor’s ticket only $50 and mine $125? The ticket says I was driving 11 MPH over the 35 MPH limit. And my son was following me in my other car. Si, there are 2 tickets totaling $250. I will never foreign visitors or anyone else to D.C. Again. These traps are a firm of corruption. So, D.C. And it’s restaurants and other business will never see any more of my business. Good work Mayor!!

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