Howard University Student Forced to Skip College to Pay For Hidden Camera Speeding Tickets
The purpose of the police issuing speeding tickets is to discourage people from speeding because speeding can lead to accidents. At least that’s rationale we’re given, but speeding tickets have become a main source of income for many cities, making it less about safety and more about ensuring a steady stream of income.
Enter hidden speed cameras, which made it possible for the police to ticket you without even sending out a squad car. Worst of all, these hidden cameras take human discretion out of the ticketing process, and ticket you even if you’re only going a few miles over the legal limit.
Howard University student Bianca Lamar shared her frustration with speed cameras on the Metropolitan Police Department’s 5th District online message board. Lamar says she was forced to skip a semester of college because she had to use her tuition money to pay off speeding tickets.
The Huffington Post spoke with Lamar about her experience:
Lamar tells The Huffington Post she was supposed to return to Howard University this fall, after taking time off for personal health issues. She’d spent the summer bartending at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., and had saved just enough to pay for her tuition (about $3,500 per semester), rent (about $1,000 per month for off-campus housing in Northeast D.C.) and living expenses.
“I had saved up all summer,” she says.
Her tickets — which she says are mostly for going about ten miles per hour over the speed limit in different places in the District — arrived in the mail before the beginning of the fall term.
According to Lamar, the tickets totaled around $300, and then her car was booted because of the tickets, which brought the bill to over $500. So instead of going to school, Lamar is back to bartending, so she can make up for the money she lost to the tickets.
Although Lamar says she has learned to slow down, a good question to ask would be whether the ratio of boots and tickets in poor to moderate income neighborhoods is comparable to those in swanky areas, such as Georgetown and Cleveland Heights.
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