The following is a post from the Tukwila Police Department’s Facebook page.
The Tukwila Police Department is proposing an Automated Safety Camera Enforcement Pilot Program (commonly known as Red-Light Cameras) and we want our community members to weigh in.
Share your thoughts at Trafficsafety@tukwilawa.gov and use this email to share your thoughts and concerns so that they are viewed by those working on this project and are logged.
The department is faced with the challenge of ensuring the safety of our arterials and neighborhood roadways while traffic volumes continue to increase. Ongoing patrols by our officers can only accomplish so much, and it is important that we look at other tools that can help increase the safety of our roadways.
Automated enforcement, commonly referred to as “Red-Light Cameras,” provides us an opportunity to reduce serious injury accidents at intersections with a history of high-frequency red light running violations.
The Department has reviewed historical data at key intersections to better understand if this technology would improve safety with in the city of Tukwila. The data clearly shows the need for these in multiple major arterial intersections.
These proposed intersections were chosen based on collision data and potential violations based on officers’ observations and experience:
- Boeing Access at Martin Luther King Jr (Southbound and Eastbound)
- Southcenter Parkway at Strander Blvd (Northbound and Westbound)
- Grady at Interurban Ave South (Eastbound and Westbound)
The Police Department’s goal is to make these proposed locations well known before the cameras are installed in the hopes that everyone will increase their vigilance and drive more carefully, avoiding a ticket and or a terrible accident.
Automated enforcement is currently used in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Chelan counties. Here in King County there are programs in Bellevue, Des Moines, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Lake Forrest Park, Mercer Island, Renton and Seattle.
Red light running nationally causes hundreds of deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in property damage.
A driver runs a red light about every 20 minutes and this happens more frequently during peak times. Studies show that automated safety cameras have reduced red light running, which in turn reduces the potential serious injury right angle collisions.
The camera systems will also assist with better tracking of intersection statistics such as traffic flows, number of vehicles, peak hours of the days, number of collisions, and tickets issued in these intersections.
As we seek to increase the safety of our roadway by incorporating this technology into our enforcement efforts, the Police Department is interested in hearing from the public on their thoughts on its use within the city of Tukwila.
Share your thoughts at (Trafficsafety@tukwilawa.gov).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Are Photo Safety Enforcement Programs effective?
A: Yes. Automated cameras have been proven to be effective in reducing red light running violations and right-angle collisions. Jurisdictions that use this system consistently report safer roads and intersections with fewer collisions.
Q: Why are cameras used?
A: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light running is a leading cause of urban vehicle accidents and often cause injury and death. Jurisdictions install the system to improve public safety by deterring red light running.
Q: Isn’t the main purpose of red light cameras to make money?
A: No. The goal of red-light camera enforcement systems is to improve public safety by reducing injuries and deaths caused by accidents. Drivers are advised of camera systems at each intersection that photo enforcement is in use by way of signage.
Q: Are motorists warned when they are approaching a Red-Light Camera Zone?
A: All locations where an automated traffic safety camera is used must be clearly marked at least thirty days prior to activation of the camera by placing signs in locations that clearly indicate to a driver that he or she is entering a zone where traffic laws are enforced by an automated traffic safety camera. Signs placed in automated traffic safety camera locations after June 7, 2012, must follow the specifications and guidelines under the manual of uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways as adopted by the department of transportation under chapter 47.36 RCW.
Q: Who receives the ticket?
A: Tickets are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Q: Will “points” be assessed to my driving record?
A: This violation is considered a non-moving violation and no points will be assessed.
Q. If I am already in the intersection when a light turns red, will I get a violation?
A: No. Violations are only issued when a vehicle enters the intersection after the light has turned red. If you enter the intersection on a green or yellow light you will not be photographed by the camera system.
Q: Is a penalty issued for making a right turn on red?
A: Tickets will also be issued if a driver makes a right turn on red—before failing to come to a complete stop and if pedestrians are crossing the street or at intersections posted “No right turn on red.”
Q: Will the red-light camera take a picture of the driver of the vehicle?
A: No. A violation is assessed against the registered owner of the vehicle; it is not a moving violation. Similar to a parking ticket, there is no need to identify the driver and therefore, no need to capture the image of the driver. This violation will NOT affect your driving privileges or insurance rates.
Q. Can I receive citations for other offenses as a result of my red light
A: No. Drivers who receive photo enforcement citations are cited for Red Light Camera Violations only.
Q: How much is the fine?
A: The amount of the fine for a Red-Light Camera Violation is $139.00
Q. How can I dispute this violation?
A: There are three ways to contest this violation:
- Tickets may be contested through the Tukwila Municipal Court. The Police Department and the Court will communicate the specifics as the program is further developed.
- If the basis of a claim is that a vehicle/plate was stolen, or a ticket was received by a police officer, an affidavit indicating one of these issues may be completed.
- If the basis of the claim is that the registered owner was not driving the vehicle, he or she may complete an affidavit an any supporting documentation and forward to the court
Nothing in this section prohibits a law enforcement officer from issuing a notice of traffic infraction to a person in control of a vehicle at the time a violation occurs under RCW 46.63.030(1) (a), (b), or (c).