Speed Cameras in DC

Speed cameras use radar to detect vehicles that are traveling over the posted speed limit. Once a vehicle is detected, a camera is triggered and takes a photograph of the rear of the vehicle, which includes the individual’s license plate. The owner of the license plate that was taken will then be sent a notice for the speeding infraction in the mail.

Speed cameras are found throughout the DC area and locations are selected by the DC Metropolitan Police Department. People are able to view where all the speed cameras are located online.

The purpose of the speed cameras is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries associated with speeding, as well as to ensure certain areas, such as school zones, are safe to walk through.

Speeding Ticket Process

The Metropolitan Police Department deploys any speed camera through which a person will receive a speed camera citation. Additionally, officers from the department may pull drivers over and issue a speeding infraction. However, if a person wants to contest the ticket, all payments or adjudication services are enforced by the DC DMV.

A notice of infraction is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle after an analysis of the license plate in the photograph that is taken. Once the owner has been notified through the mail, that individual must either pay the fine, which may be up to $250, or request a DMV administrative hearing to contest the ticket.

A person does not have to sign any documents that are received, but the person must either pay the fee or contest the ticket. People may request a DMV administrative hearing to contest the citation. If one is not happy with the hearing examiner’s decision, they may submit a Motion for Reconsideration within 30 days of the decision.


Speeding is a traffic infraction handled by the DMV. Unless a person’s speeding contributes to a reckless driving charge, there will be no criminal ramifications because this type of infraction is handled at the DMV and not the DC Superior Court.

DC Municipal Regulation 18-2200 states that no person shall drive a vehicle in DC on a street or highway at a speed in excess of the posted maximum speed limits.

The potential penalties of speeding is a fine of up to $250, depending on how much over the posted speed limit the individual was operating the vehicle.

Circumstances of Innocence

It is possible for someone to receive a speed camera ticket if the individual was definitely not speeding.

For example, someone may receive a speeding ticket if the individual was not speeding if, at the time the license plate was photographed by the speed camera, the person’s vehicle or license plate was stolen.

People are able to prove their innocence by contesting the ticket and requesting an administrative hearing at the DMV. They must appear at the administrative hearing with a copy of their police report that they have previously filed with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Role of an Attorney

An attorney will be able to help someone contest the ticket and can appear on the individual’s behalf at a DMV administrative hearing. An attorney may provide the hearing examiner with information that will challenge the photograph that was taken or mitigate the circumstances. Any information that that the attorney gives to the hearing examiner may result in the dismissal of the person’s speed camera ticket.