Red Light Cameras

Get caught on camera speeding through a school zone, and you may find yourself with a $189 ticket in your mailbox. Those fines add up fast: The city has collected more than $3 million as of last month.

So what happens to all that money? The Seattle City Council voted Monday to direct all of it into a special fund, to pay for safety improvements near schools. That could include sidewalk repairs, better lighting and fixing curbs.

The Associated Press

The Washington Supreme Court says voters do not have the right to vote on the use of red light cameras for traffic enforcement.  In a 5 to 4 ruling on a case involved a proposition on the ballot in the city of Mukilteo, the justices held that:

“Because the legislature expressly granted authority to the governing body of the city of Mukilteo to enact ordinances on the use of automated traffic safety cameras, the subject of Proposition 1 is not within the initiative power.”

In November 2010, Mukilteo voters approved Proposition 1 by a 70 percent margin. The Proposition had the backing of anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Retired Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Jim Warme is fighting a speeding ticket issued automatically by a camera in a school zone.

In his appeal of a Longview Municipal Court decision, Warme acknowledges a car registered to him and his wife was photographed last May driving 31 mph in a 20 mph zone.

Publicola.com

Red light camera opponents in Longview and Monroe submitted initiatives Monday against the automatic traffic ticketing system. If approved, the Monroe initiative would require the city to remove its cameras and ask for voter approval before installing more.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

Irate drivers in four Washington cities are filing ballot initiative paperwork this week to unplug automated traffic enforcement cameras.

So far, driver rebellions have ignited in Longview, Bellingham, Monroe and Wenatchee. Signature drives have started in those cities to unplug their red light cameras. Professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman is involved in all four of the nascent municipal campaigns.

Josh Oliver, WDFW and Cascadia Research

Making headlines today:

  • Gov's ferry proposal draws fire
  • Red light cameras in the hot seat
  • A bottlenose dolphin spotted in south Sound