Sunday, January 2, 2011
LETTER: Redmond Red-Light Camera "Pilot Program" Allows "Decision Points" For Council Review
By Councilmember Hank Myers, 9/19
Regarding the KING5 TV video feature on red-light cameras in Lynnwood.
I went onto the KING5 website and viewed the *report (about the red-light installation in Lynnwood). I think the report was balanced, and represented the various opinions. As you may recall, both Richard Cole and I voted against the fine structure because we did not want to be accused of having the program for revenue. The Mayor and Police Department were also sensitive to the charge, and our version uses excess revenue to fund traffic safety programs and does not go into the general fund. I still do not like the fine structure, and that may be changed by the legislature. Our red light cameras are only going in at the few lights with the most violations, and we authorized only one school zone speed camera because only one school has flashing lights to notify drivers. John Stilin was particularly effective in raising the issue of clarity about when the school zones are active.
The report presented evidence that in Lynnwood the accident rate went up after the red light cameras were put in, largely due to rear end accidents, and then came down to below the original level. This did happen with some early adopters, but a portion of the problem appears to be related to having the warning signs too close to the lights. Once effective warning is provided further in advance, the accident rates dropped. We have a pilot program that allows us some decision points. Both the Public Safety Committee and the Council will be reviewing the program and data carefully.
Hank Myers, 9/19/2010
Councillor Hank Myers is Chair of the Council Safety Committee
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