Washington, D.C. – A D.C. city councilman has introduced a bill that would give civilians the authority to write traffic tickets in the nation’s capital.
D.C. Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen introduced the plan as part of his omnibus “Vision Zero” bill, according to WRC.
“It would start small. Just 10 people per ward. They would be trained and made sure they would be ready to go,” Allen explained to WTTG. “When they see a vehicle that is blocking a bike lane, blocking the crosswalk, blocking a fire hydrant, they would have the ability, using an app on their phone, to be able to take a picture and actually have a ticket that will be issued.”
A pilot program called the Citizen Safety Enforcement Pilot Program is already in the works, WRC reported.
It would allow as many as 10 residents per ward to be trained to issue traffic citations.
If more than 10 people apply for the position of ticket-writer, the city would use a lottery system to determine who was selected.
Those selected would have to be trained to use an app on their cell phone that would let them to take a picture of an infraction and then issue a ticket, WRC reported.
Allen said the city needs citizens helping with enforcement because illegally parked cars are a safety hazard for bikers and scooter riders, according to WTTG.
However, the councilman said the program would ultimately benefit all citizens of the district because it would make roads safer,
The next step toward passage of the bill will be debate during hearings before the city council.
Allen said he hoped the legislation would pass in the fall, according to WTTG.
Several other city councilmembers have expressed support for the plan, according to WTOP.
However, not all residents are in favor of Allen’s proposal.
“I think that civilians shouldn’t be able to do that because if you want to do that you should be a part of law enforcement,” one DC resident told WTTG. “We have law enforcement for a reason and that’s their job.”
Traffic deaths of pedestrians have increased in D.C. over the past few years and the bill’s supporters hope that once it’s signed, it will help reduce fatalities, WRC reported.
The city has announced a goal of zero annual pedestrian deaths by 2024.
There have already been eight pedestrian deaths in D.C. thus far in 2019, according to WRC