Nov 27, 2023 - News

The biggest money-making speed cameras in D.C.

Where D.C. traffic cameras generated the most revenue, January to June 2023
A map showing the top 20 traffic cameras in the D.C. area by revenue. Foggy Bottom has the biggest concentration, with a total revenue of $8.3 million from three cameras. Data: D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Chart: Axios Visuals

A D.C. speed camera on I-295 in Southeast has beaten all others in revenue, making more than $3.8 million over the first half of the year.

Why it matters: You may have been nabbed by one of these traffic cameras in the top 20.

The big picture: D.C. wants to deploy hundreds of more traffic cameras in the coming years to deter rulebreaking motorists and balance the city's budget.

By the numbers: The I-295 speed camera is about half a mile south of Exit 1 going northbound. It took the top spot in data D.C. provided to Axios this year through the end of June.

  • The two speed cameras in the K Street tunnel under Washington Circle also made the top five. The westbound camera recorded $3.1 million, and the eastbound one made $2.6 million over that period.

One infamous D.C. camera is a stop sign enforcement camera at the intersection of Blagden Avenue and Allison Street NW.

  • The camera in leafy Crestwood was the 10th most lucrative, recording $1.3 million worth of violations.
  • It was the highest-recording stop sign camera.
  • In early 2022, some residents claimed the camera became hypersensitive, issuing more tickets than in years before.

Zoom out: 16 of the top 20 cameras were speed cameras. Two were stop sign enforcement and another two were red light cams.

What we're watching: Unpaid traffic tickets are a problem for the city and enforcement is spotty.

Be smart: D.C. can't suspend the license of a Virginia or Maryland driver even if they keep racking up tickets.

The complete list:

  1. I-295 SW .05 mile S/O Exit 1 N/B (speed) = $3,808,818
  2. 2200 block K St. NW W/B (speed) = $3,144,814
  3. 600 block Kenilworth Ave. NE S/B (speed) = $2,956,134
  4. Potomac River Freeway NW/B at 25th St. NW (speed) = $2,758,105
  5. 2200 block K ST NW E/B (speed) = $2,587,019
  6. 2800 block N Capitol St. NW S/B (speed) = $1,895,238
  7. 600 block New York Ave. NE W/B (speed) = $1,816,369
  8. 2200 block South Dakota Ave. NE SE/B (speed) = $1,432,635
  9. 200 block H St. NE E/B (speed) = $1,335,608
  10. Blagden Ave. NE/B at Allison St. NW (stop sign) = $1,300,773
  11. 27th St. N/B at R St. SE (stop sign) = $1,270,570
  12. 3300 block New York Ave. NE E/B (speed) = $1,148,559
  13. DC295 .7 miles S/O Eastern Ave. NE S (speed) = $1,092,708
  14. 4000 block Wheeler Rd. SE N/B (speed) = $1,073,204
  15. I-695 off-ramp E/B at 11th St. SE (red light) = $1,068,626
  16. 100 block Michigan Ave. NW E/B (speed) = $1,056,367
  17. 200 block Riggs Rd. NE E/B (speed) = $1,022,191
  18. 3rd St. Tunnel NW N/B by MA Ave. (speed) = $928,121
  19. 1900 block Branch Ave. SE N/B (speed) = $838,660
  20. S Capitol Ramp S/B before I St. SW (red light) = $832,555

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the top traffic camera in D.C. by revenue is on I-295 in Southeast, not Southwest.

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