Just announced by SDOT: The city is adding three new traffic-enforcement cameras, and one of them will be for bus-lane violations on the West Seattle Bridge (the other two will be downtown block-the-box cameras). From the announcement:
… The new cameras will allow the city to collect a larger data set for a more robust analysis of the impact and effectiveness of these types of automated enforcement programs. The city expects to install the cameras at the three identified locations at the beginning of September. There will be a 30-day warning period to ensure the public has adequate notice to learn the rules of the road. … The locations were selected due to the large volume of pedestrians present combined with a high rate of observed violations by drivers.
This is part of a “pilot program” resulting from legislative authorization of more uses for automated enforcement cameras. Separate from the one-month grace period, the city says, first-time violators will get a warning letter, and $75 tickets after that. Where does the money go? The announcement notes:
Under state law, half of the net revenue from the traffic cameras will go to a Washington Traffic Safety Commission fund for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects, and the other half of the net revenue must be used to build safety and mobility improvements for people with disabilities in Seattle. SDOT plans to invest this in building more accessible walk signals which vibrate and make a noise to let people with limited vision or hearing know when it is safe to cross the street.
As with other automated enforcement cameras – like school-zone speeding and red-light running – the announcement notes, “To protect privacy, the cameras will only record vehicle license plates and not the people inside the car. The photos are only intended to be used for enforcing the bus lane and blocking the box laws, and are not intended for other law enforcement action.”