Updated: Nov 8
That fateful day on March 3rd, 2021, when the machines became self-aware and began targeting their car-driving adversaries, seemed like the end of the world, but the population fought back. They were winning the battle against the machines. Fate has turned against them once again. The Mayor, facing a budget shortfall and a population who knew how to defeat the machines, had secured back in the Spring a plan for 342 more traffic cameras in Washington DC and potentially over half a billion dollars in revenue over the next four years from drivers, as the equipment is rolled out and technology advances beyond the control of the living.
Gone are the visible indicators that you are about to be photographed and fined – those bulky camera stands have been replaced by next-gen Cyberdyne Systems model CSM-300 aerial hunter killers. In fact, these cameras now placed high up on poles out of the obvious sight of drivers are produced by DC’s automated traffic enforcement contractor Novoa Global, which was awarded a renewed contract through at least 2027. Novoa Global carefully conceals the extent of the technical capabilities of their systems, but rumor is that the latest 30+ megapixel 3D RADAR and/or LIDAR (light detection and ranging) cameras can track up to 32 cars in 6 lanes at once with automated license plate recognition. See LIDAR camera demo here.
Glover Park’s stop sign camera on southbound 37th Street at Whitehaven Parkway has been replaced by the new camera already. Though the public was shocked by the volume of tickets issued when the location first went live in 2021, from January 2022 to present 24,033 more tickets have been issued, totaling over $2.4 million in additional fines (see graph below). One woman said that she received 10 tickets from this one camera while she had a rental car but didn’t know about any of them until she got the $1,000 bill from the rental car company, in addition to processing fees for paying the fines on her behalf. Yikes.
We have not yet seen the effects of the new stealthy camera, which was replaced on October 5th 2023, though it would be a good guess that issued tickets will go up without the easily noticeable camera on the ground. On top of this, two new speed cameras were installed in Glover Park just a week ago on Wisconsin Avenue – northbound just north of the Whole Foods entrance, and southbound next to the new Amoco gas station (formerly Sunoco) at the corner of Calvert Street. Don’t worry – in case you caught air zooming down the hill in the past few days, there is a 30-day grace period with mailed warnings only before the tickets go out (roughly end of November 2023). Fines can range from $100 for 11-15 mpg over the speed limit, up to $500 for excessive speeds. While I was photographing one of the new Glover Park speed cameras, the strobe light flashed at least 5 times as cars drove past. By the way, that strobe is blinding at night when driving in the other direction at 37th Street.
Currently there are about 140 speed (105), red light (28) and stop sign (7) cameras in DC (13 of which were installed in October 2023 alone). As reported previously, Mayor Bowser took automated traffic enforcement away from the Metro Police Department in 2019 and gave authority to the DC Department of Transportation. This was done by executive order without any legislation proposed through the DC Council. Don’t you miss the good old days when all you had to worry about was a smokey with a radar gun hiding behind a billboard?
Novoa Global ATE Systems Orders From DC Office of Contracting and Procurement: