By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published December 21, 2022
Everett to have red light cameras
in coming year
EVERETT — Love ‘em or hate ‘em, red light cameras are coming to Everett. They’ll be activated sometime next year, possibly in the summer.
The City Council authorized signing a five-year contract in a 5-2 vote last week.
The six intersections to add automated ticket cameras will be:
• Broadway at 16th Street, with red light cameras monitoring Broadway northbound and southbound
• Rucker Avenue at 41st Street, watching Rucker northbound and southbound
• Evergreen Way at Casino Road, northbound and eastbound
• Fourth Avenue W. at Evergreen Way, northbound
• Everett Mall Way at 7th Avenue SE, westbound; and
• 112th Street SW at Evergreen Way, eastbound
Plus a school speed zone camera at Horizon Elementary.
The cameras use sensors to detect if a driver crosses against the light, and videorecords the traffic violation. An infraction would not go against your driving record. Everett would give a 30-day grace period from when the cameras are installed where you’d get a warning notice but no citation.
In the 5-2 vote, council members Mary Fosse and Paula Rhyne voted no.
Rhyne wants equity to be deeply considered on the cameras’ implementation. Not everyone “has the opportunity to go to a courthouse to contest a ticket, or might be sharing a vehicle or work odd hours. All these are items that frustrate communities of color about red light ticket cameras,” she said at the council meeting.
Fosse said she voted no on similar reasons.
In the spring, the Snohomish Ebony PAC and NAACP Snohomish County had issued a letter pointing out that five of the six cameras would be placed in areas with higher concentrations of people of color. They also state how a $124 red light camera citation is a regressive penalty considering $124 exceeds a full day’s pay for a minimum-wage worker, who’d earn $109.52 before tax for an eight-hour shift. At that time, Rhyne had voted against putting the contract out to bids with this in mind.
The six intersections selected had the most red light-related crashes between 2015 and 2020, from city traffic data.
City Council members who voted yes have said these are needed for public safety.
Police statistics have found the cameras deter drivers from running red lights, and reduce violent T-bone crashes. Instead, rear-end collisions go up a bit.
“Crashes are an equal opportunity offender,” council member Ben Zarlingo said.
The five-year contract is through Novoaglobal for just shy of $504,000 a year. The company would install the cameras and process the ticket data.
The city would designate any annual profit toward improving traffic safety.
The citation income also would pay to add four full-time employees: These are a police officer assigned to have final say on ticket infractions, a city court clerk to administer the program, a traffic technician and a traffic engineer to design safety projects from camera revenue, Everett traffic engineer Corey Hart said.
Contested tickets would be handled before Everett Municipal Court.
Adding any additional future cameras would require council approval, the city’s purchasing manager said.
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