Wednesday, December 22, 2010

City Takes Time to Educate Citizenry on The Good And Bad Of Red-Light Safety Cameras

UPDATED:  Just before Christmas, Commander Shari Shovlin of the Redmond Police announced a new start date for their Safety (Red Light) Cameras.   The Red-Light camera activation date is now changed from New Year's Day to February 1.  

THE RED-LIGHT PROCESS:  For the month of February, citizens are sent a warning of their infractions. Citations will be issued starting March 1 and can be challenged in court.  However, the city may give you an opportunity to review your infraction on their new website to help save you and the courts some time.

Some good news:  Red-Light violations will be cited "non-moving" so your driver's insurance company won't ding you; and the $124 fine is less than a "moving" violation.  Driving habits change and fewer accidents have been reported over time. 

Some bad news:  Red-Light cameras are controversial in some cities, because they've been reported as a Cash Cow.  KING-TV featured a report on Lynnwood, WA with claims Lynnwood generated 10% of it's total budget from red-light fines.  The reporter interviewed citizens who claimed revenues create a revenue habit for installing ever more red-lights   Also, watch out for rear-end bumps as drivers get used the Pilot.

I alerted City Council to an education, yet alarming 12/5  KING-TV video in early December.  Councillor Hank Myers, Chair of the Council Safety Committee responded with a Letter to RNB a few days after. The 12/5 KING-TV video has since been removed, though text remains. 

The City apparently doesn't plan to use their red-lights as a money-maker. Marchione's balanced budget is re-assuring.  The four lights of the Pilot program are rented, not purchased.  Any revenue above the cost of the program is promised towards funding "safety reserves and programs" like new traffic signals and road signs.

The Marchione Administrations is very sensitive to "red-light controversy" and is taking an extra month to educate the citizenry and answer questions before the cameras are activated February 1.  Police Chief Gibson is meeting the public at the Senior Center on January 7 for Q&A.  The new city website search engine is a resource, as well.

Narrative report by Bob Yoder
December 22

SOURCES:  See the 12/5 KING deleted video and remaining text.  City press releases, City website, KIRO, Redmond Reporter,, Talley Hudson, City Executive Administrative Assistant.

Special thanks to my family for their support in getting this story out before Christmas.  BY

1 comment:

Bob Yoder said...

RNB did't receive a press release on the Feb 1 change, no did the Police Community Laison (PIO)link RNB to his neghborhood safety alert email. They linked only to the RR article.

I've asked the Administration to include me on all press release and city safety alerts.