It is worth noting that very rarely, if ever, do lawmakers make a decision to lower a fine. They might remove a rule or change a law, but not actually lower a fine associated with a traffic offense.
Fines for speeding were reduced by about $50, depending on fast over the speed limit the driver was traveling. Lawmakers also reduced the fines for drivers who fail to come to a complete stop at stop signs or an intersection. And perhaps most significantly, the fine for drivers who fail to yield pedestrians was reduced from $250 to just $75. While many other cities, such as New York City, have been looking at ways to further punish drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and encourage pedestrian safety, Washington D.C. seems to have gone the other way.
The Washington Post has done a complete story on the traffic fine reductions, listing all changes and the route offenses these reductions are attached to. You can read their report here.
What is not fully explained is what the impetus was for lawmakers making these changes. At this point we don’t know if the changes were made because the city is a safer place to drive, or because revenues have been too high. We don’t if any specific groups lobbied for these changes or if this was something spurred by one particular lawmakers over another.
If the story develops further we will bring you what we learn. Until then, drive safe in Washington D.C., and enjoy the lower fines if you don’t.