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Hit-and-run accidents plague DC’s roadways

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) – Neighbors living on a DC street said speeding leads to repeated hit-and-run accidents in front of their homes.

“It’s very frustrating because you want to park your car and have it safe when you come out,” said Tarita Basanta.

Basanta has owned a home on Good Hope Road in southeast DC for years. She said the road is a speeding hotspot.

“Usually it’s at high speeds,” she said. “We know the speed limit in DC is 25mph and people drive 60, 70 easily on that stretch at times.”

Basanta said she and her neighbors have been victims of frequent hit-and-run accidents, with drivers ramming into their parked cars and driving away.

“Due to the high speeds and carelessness of people, several of the vehicles parked on this main street have been hit and totaled. Within the last, I would say about eight months, five cars have been totally destroyed and several cars have been hit and damaged,” she said.

That includes her Mercedes, which was totaled after someone hit it and bent the axle. She and her spouse hit three of their parked cars.

“The reality is that it costs us all money. It’s money that comes out of your pocket that you would like to keep in your pocket,” she said.

There is a speed camera further up the street at Block 2300 of Good Hope Road. And according to data from DDOT, more than 16,000 tickets were issued there from January to September 2022.

However, Basanta and her neighbors believe more needs to be done to slow down drivers.

“Right now with the speed camera on the street it’s not at all a deterrent because most people know where it is,” she said. “Blitzer, another additional camera would deter.”

Safety improvements are on the way for the Good Hope Road, according to DDOT Director Everett Lott.

In a statement, he said: “DDOT has identified Good Hope Road SE as a high risk of breach corridor of the network, which means we are prioritizing it for security improvements. An assessment is currently underway which will complement the existing speed camera in managing speeds along this section of the corridor.”

Lott continued: “High speeds are a fundamental factor in many of the accidents we see on the Good Hope Road. We plan to advance the implementation of security enhancements between late 2023 and mid-2024 after assessment and design are complete.”