(February 2009 WSB photo)
West Seattle has two of the city’s two-dozen-plus red-light cameras (35th/Thistle and 35th/Avalon), and Seattle Police have just issued a news release pointing out — as part of “Stop on Red Week” — that those are two of many reasons why NOT to run a red light – read on:
Run a red light because you were late for an appointment and thought you dodged a traffic ticket because a Seattle Police officer was nowhere to be seen, but saw a bright flash in your rear view mirror? Good luck!
What you were lucky enough to dodge was a crash. Running red lights is dangerous – causing more than 144,000 injuries and nearly 900 fatalities nationally in the most recent data. In Seattle, there are scores of crashes and injuries associated with red light running every year.
The Seattle Police Department, together with the American Traffic Solutions of Scottsdale, Arizona, runs a photo-enforcement Traffic Safety Camera Project. It is one of several programs that the department and the City of Seattle have sponsored to make streets safer and catch traffic law violators.
“Because it would be impossible to physically monitor all of the traffic signals in Seattle, the 28 traffic cameras that have been installed at 21 intersections of high concern since 2006 are an extension of our traffic enforcement effort to ultimately save lives – make you, the motorists, cyclists and pedestrians – safer,” said Lt. Pierre Davis, commander of the Seattle Police Traffic Section.
Having just concluded its third year in operation, more than 66,000 citations have been issued by the cameras for red light violations. As a preliminary indication that the cameras are making our streets safer, red light running is down more than 50 percent at the intersections that have the cameras. Preliminary findings also indicate that the six cameras that have been active the longest showed fewer injury crashes and persons injured compared with similar intersections without cameras.
By the end of the summer, there will be a total of 30 traffic safety cameras operating throughout the city. The full report on the program, including locations of the cameras, can be found online: http://www.seattle.gov/police/programs/technology/redlight.htm
In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration during Stop on Red Week from August 2-8, 2009, the Seattle Police Department reminds motorists to stop on red, including those making right turns, and always practice safe driving habits – not just this week but every day of the year.
| 29 COMMENTS