News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Click it or Ticket patrols to target unbuckled and distracted drivers this month

May 15th, 2014 by Mike

This post is from our sister site My Ballard.

The “Click it or Ticket” patrols will be back in King County from May 19 through June 1, with officers on the lookout for unbuckled and distracted drivers.

The campaign has been particularly successful in catching drivers on their cell phones, with 836 cell phone and texting violations written during the last Click it or Ticket campaign period in April.

Since the “Handheld Cell Phone Use” law became a primary state law back in June 2010 the number of drivers cited for cell phone use per month statewide jumped from 700 to 4000.

Similarly, after the primary seat belt law came into effect in June 2002 seat belt violations initially increased and then the seat belt use rate increased.

“This model of high visibility enforcement has proven to change behaviors and is now being applied to distracted driving. Texting and cell phone usage is aggravating to so many motorists and it remains a growing public health and traffic safety issue,” writes the Washington Traffic Safety Committee in their latest press release.

During last year’s Click it or Ticket campaign at this time of year officers issued 2,963 seat belt violations and 1,897 cell phone and texting violations state wide.

In King County, between May 19 and June 1, the Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Port of Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Tukwila and Woodinville Police Departments will be teaming up with the Washington State Patrol to participate in these extra patrols.

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Cash from speed-camera tickets in school zones to pay only for, um, school-ish projects

July 22nd, 2013 by Mike

The buckets of cash that Seattle’s school-zone speed cameras are raking in – $3 million in their first half-year of operation – will now only be spent on school-related projects. (Editor: see comment by Lisa, below.)

That includes the 6,000 tickets issued through June by Maple Leaf’s cameras, on Fifth Avenue Northeast outside Olympic View Elementary School.

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted this afternoon to restrict how cash from the $189 tickets from the eight school-zone cameras, in four locations, can be spent, our news partner The Seattle Times is reporting.

The separate fund the council established today would require every penny to be spent on operating and maintaining the cameras; safety education; and capital-improvement projects, such as repainted crosswalks, new sidewalks, lights and more camera installations.

The vote was a defeat for Mayor Mike McGinn, who wanted to keep the cash in the city’s general fund, while promising to prioritize school improvements.

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We're number 3 – in school-zone camera speeding fines

January 14th, 2013 by Mike

In just two weeks in December, after the new school-zone speed cameras west of Olympic View Elementary School went live, they generated 437 speeding tickets at $189 apiece.

In a story published Sunday, our news partners The Seattle Times indicates fines totaling $82,593 were issued along that stretch of Fifth Avenue Northeast between approximately 94th and 96th streets.

There are four school-zone cameras sites – on Martin Luther King Jr. Way (1,510 tickets), Greenwood Avenue North (881 tickets), Fauntleroy Way Southwest (435 tickets), and here, the Times reports. The tickets were issued between December 10 and 21.

The  last time we wrote about this, in November before fines were being issued, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told the Times he was “surprised” at the high number of trial citations the cameras were generating – up to $2-4 million in fines annually, he said.

Now, though, should tickets continue at the current rate the city projects it could issue $1 million in fines a month.

The cameras were expected to bring in around $800,000 this year, and McGinn said the city would spend any excess on public safety improvements near the schools. The city also pays the Arizona-based operators of the cameras a fee of $456,000 annually.

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We’re number 3 – in school-zone camera speeding fines

January 14th, 2013 by Mike

In just two weeks in December, after the new school-zone speed cameras west of Olympic View Elementary School went live, they generated 437 speeding tickets at $189 apiece.

In a story published Sunday, our news partners The Seattle Times indicates fines totaling $82,593 were issued along that stretch of Fifth Avenue Northeast between approximately 94th and 96th streets.

There are four school-zone cameras sites – on Martin Luther King Jr. Way (1,510 tickets), Greenwood Avenue North (881 tickets), Fauntleroy Way Southwest (435 tickets), and here, the Times reports. The tickets were issued between December 10 and 21.

The  last time we wrote about this, in November before fines were being issued, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told the Times he was “surprised” at the high number of trial citations the cameras were generating – up to $2-4 million in fines annually, he said.

Now, though, should tickets continue at the current rate the city projects it could issue $1 million in fines a month.

The cameras were expected to bring in around $800,000 this year, and McGinn said the city would spend any excess on public safety improvements near the schools. The city also pays the Arizona-based operators of the cameras a fee of $456,000 annually.

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