City councilman will argue for lower red light camera fines

Editor’s note: Lynnwood has two school zone cameras. One is in front of Lynnwood Elementary on 44th Ave. W. The other one is in front of the school zone on 168th St. SW that covers Meadowdale High, Middle and Elementary schools, as well as Beverly Elementary.


Fines for red light and school zone cameras could be reduced, at least if one Lynnwood city councilman has anything to say about it.

Councilman Mark Smith said the Council will be discussing the city’s photo enforcement system this month, and he plans to advocate for lower fines.

“We have come to rely on revenue from photo red light cameras, rather than the original intent of those cameras which was a safety measure to decrease accidents,” he said at the May 24 council meeting. “However, with the next biennial budget, I will certainly be advocating for much lower fines, for better signage, particularly in the school zones, and to return us to the original purpose of those red light cameras which was safety not revenue.”

Smith told us he also will also suggest different operating hours for the school zone cameras.

Lynnwood has red light cameras at eight intersections, and school zone cameras in front of Lynnwood Elementary on 44th Avenue W. and Meadowdale High, Middle and Elementary schools on 168th Street SW. Fines are between $124 and $250.

  1. councilman you're idea is very misguided. to lower fines would be to invite drivers to ignore those traffic laws and increase the danger to others. if anything fines should be increased and license forfiture for repeated violations added on. that would be a real deterant. you say fines are a revenue source, well that is one way to discribe them; however, deterant is another way and that is the purpose of traffic fines. raise not lower. tom j

  2. We need more “PERFECT” drivers, like Tom Jughead. I'm sure he has never broken a traffic law in his life!

  3. The dollar amount of the fine doesn't matter. No one makes a decision to speed or run a read light based on how affordable the fine may be.

    The reason traffic cameras don't work is because they are nothing more than a revenue tool and have nothing to do with improving safety.

    A cop being visable at an intersection will always do more than a camera because he is visable and acts to deter unsafe behavior of all kinds. People notice their behavior and correct it and are apt to be more careful in the future. Being pulled over in that situation not only provides a direct teachable moment for the offender, but for all of those that see them sitting there getting a ticket.

    A camera just collects data on those that offended, doesn't teach the offender anything (because they didn't know they were caught), and just makes them angry when some time later they get a ticket in the mail. They see it as a revenue grap (which it is) and just go about their business, maybe changing habits to avoid that intersection (and others with cameras).

    A camera gets people who may be good, safe, drivers who “slip a little” where a live cop would let them slide going after someone else that might not have triggered the camera, but showed they were dangerous.

    Since our family has a choice to go to Lynnwood, or go the other direction where they don't have the cameras, we just made the choice not to risk it and spend our money elsewhere.



    PHOTO enforcement is NOT a Safety Device.


    It is already becoming very obivious that the “violations” of RLC are mainly:

    non dangerous right turns on red.
    stopping over the stop line.
    split second mistakes that have more to do WITH AMBERS BEING TOO SHORT (AND DON”T LIE on the “longer ambers increase RLR” garbage argument either).

    As for the speed scameras. How many are occuring with children present???? How many are over 5 mph?????? It is one thing to pull over someone going 20 over the limit in a school zone with kids present, it is quite something else to mail some one a bill for 5 over WITH NO KIDS AROUND because they were slow in slowing down!

    When I see towns use speed cameras DURING SUMMER SCHOOL, Extend School Zone time from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (and lower trigger) speeds mainly to chrun tickets, the “its for the children” argument becomes more and more HOLLOW! My personal favorit was Cleveland OH who got wrote up by the local paper for not fixing the yellow warning light indicating when the school zone was hot. THEY STILL KEPT CITING PEOPLE who didn't know the zone was in effect!

    Photo enforcment is a scam. I don't care what kind of rules or “laws” they make trying to govern them. The vendors DON”T CARE ABOUT THE LAW OR YOU SAFETY!

    Heck ACS is IGNOREING THE LAW (Along with the town of Bowie, MD in paying per ticket fees, against MD LAW TOO, but hey when has the law stopped a scamera company???)

    Fight the scam!

    Demand a Vote!

  5. Mark is right on. It appears the City of Lynnwood is in it for the money.
    I have talked to people who live outside of Lynnwood, got a ticket and
    say they will not shop in Lynnwood.

  6. I never see any children present and travel on 44th ave at least twice a week. How have the lights made the area safer? What events caused the need for the lights (cameras)?
    Two of my senior citizen clients have recv'd tickets as a result of traveling thru the school zone. These are their first tickets in over 60 plus years of driving.
    My question….why are there any tickets issued? Your system is not working. If drivers knew it was 20 miles per hour and they would receive a fine for doing over 20 they most likely travel at 20.
    It is a revenue source only.
    Doug Murray

  7. We have lived in the Lynnwood area for over 30 years. Raised our kids here, participated in Lynnwood parades, donating money to every Lynnwood event and so much more. I was proud of this community, but no more. Not when we try to make drivers feel illegal in these 'speed trap red ticket zones'. Just received one of those red light tickets in Lynnwood. It was in a school zone that is posted 20 mph 'when children are present', otherwise 30 mph. There were no children or buses or even any pedestrians on street present at 10:00 am in the morning so drove by at 32 mph (2 mph over 30 – sorry). I will be contesting this ticket, but still, it makes me feel sick. Never had a ticket of any kind before and have been driving for over 50 years. If this continues, I too will stop shopping in the Lynnwood area, warn all my friends and family who come to visit me to watch out for all the speed traps as Lynnwood is after it's citizens to make up millions in revenue. You know, it isn't the money, I have voted for every school levy, emergency bond, fire station and more throughout the years. I would rather Lynnwood honestly just raise our taxes to pay for needed improvements, even more police officers. It is being made to feel I did something illegal that makes me sick. SHAME ON YOU LYNNWOOD – what happened to the community I moved to 30 years ago?

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