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Red-light cameras at crash hotspots has Everett council’s interest

EVERETT — A few City Council members said last week they would be favorable toward red light enforcement cameras in the interest of significantly reducing serious crashes.
At its meeting last week, Council President Brenda Stonecipher said she’d support cameras if it came to a vote, because a web of cameras could monitor multiple intersections. She called the technology “a good use of resources.”
Councilman Scott Bader leaned for the safety aspects the tattletale cameras offer to reduce crashes. “While I don’t like red light cameras (...) unless someone can tell me what we could do, I’m inclined to go forward” in support, Bader said.
The city is not approaching the idea as a revenue generator. Council members have been studying the efficacy of red light cameras for a few years now.
Six intersections the city is now studying for adding a camera or two are:
• Evergreen Way at Casino Road;
• Evergreen Way at Fourth Avenue W., near Everett Mall Way;
• Broadway and 16th Street;
• Rucker Avenue at 41st Street;
• Evergreen Way at 112th Street SE; and
• Everett Mall Way at 7th Avenue.
Each intersection on this list sees, on average, at least 15 crashes of all types each year, with some having 30 or more crashes a year. Red-light running generally factored into about 1 in 10 of the crashes at these intersections over the past five years, according to city crash data presented publicly last week.
The city also is discussing adding a school speed zone camera along Casino Road at Horizon Elementary.
Councilwoman Judy Tuohy said “every one of these intersections is very valid” for a camera, and said a speed camera may be particularly important for safety at Horizon Elementary.
Some of the listed intersections are new to the proposal list. Cameras had been proposed for the intersections at Pacific and Rucker avenues and at Evergreen Way at Madison Street before, but neither were on last week’s list of places.
Last week’s presentation focused on whether cameras would be effective, not to take a vote.
To actually get cameras, the city would need to sign a contract to pay an automated traffic enforcement company for the service. While the city is studying six intersections, it wouldn’t be required to put a camera at each of them.
The camera company would install the cameras and process the ticket data. State law requires an officer to review each recording to decide if it is a ticketable violation.
The infraction ticket would be a $124 civil penalty. An infraction would not go against your driving record. Contested tickets would go before Everett Municipal Court.
There are 11 cities in Washington state that use red light cameras as of 2019.

 

  

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