Lynnwood makes changes to the controversial school zone speed cameras

After hearing from angry drivers, the city of Lynnwood has changed the operating hours for the school zone speed cameras.

Right now they operate from about 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the school year.

At Monday night’s meeting, the City Council voted to have them operate only from 60 minutes before the start of school to 30 minutes after the start of school, and 30 minutes before the end of school to 60 minutes after. That means drivers won’t be ticketed for going 30 miles per hour through a school zone in the middle of the day.

“Inadvertently, it’s setting up our citizens to fail. The signage has been poor, people are not aware of these cameras, and we’ve received numerous complaints from citizens just feeling set up and they are very upset. They don’t want to shop in Lynnwood anymore,” Councilmember Kerri Lonergan said. “The whole purpose of these cameras should be about changing people’s behavior and not penalizing citizens.”

Lonergan also said she also would support amending the fine structure, although that wasn’t addressed at the meeting. Tickets are $124 for 29 to 35 miles per hour, and $250 over 36 miles per hour.

Before the Council voted they heard from several citizens who spoke out against the speed cameras.

Beth Fahlstrom, a substitute teacher in the Edmonds School District, said she got a ticket at 12:30 p.m. in front of Lynnwood Elementary. “Of all the elementary schools, that’s the only one I see that does it all day long,” she said.

Council member Mark Smith said it’s unfair to fine people in the middle of the day.”There simply aren’t schoolchildren present throughout the day. I believe that people want to do the right thing most of the time, and to ding them with a $124 fine when they are driving this road in the middle of the day when there are no kids around, is simply not fair.”

We’ve received e-mails from people who say they will no longer shop in Lynnwood because of the school zone cameras.

Lisa Vallins wrote that she got a ticket at 1:45 p.m. “I drove my vehicle by the school and instinctively slowed down, but then realized that school was still in session. Imagine my surprise to receive a speed camera ticket in the mail today. Sadly, I will think twice about shopping in Lynnwood in the future.”

The South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce told us they’re received many similar complaints.

“It’s clear that there are consumers who are now avoiding doing business in Lynnwood because of the cameras. We’ve received feedback from both consumers and retailers who are outraged,” Chamber spokesperson Chelsea Looney told us.

Lynnwood has two school zone cameras – one in front of Lynnwood Elementary on 44th Ave. W. and the other in front of the school zone on 168th St. SW that covers Meadowdale High, Middle and Elementary schools, as well as Beverly Elementary.

  1. Now all they need to do is stop trying to write school zone tickets 2 hours after school has been out. They need to establish school zones times. This when children are present BS. I called about the cameras and they told me “atleast there is no abiguity anymore, when there flashing it is a school zone, when there off it not a school zone.” Then they said “if children are present on a weekend or at midnight it is a school zone because children are present.”

    After all that they changed the sign to when children are present or lights flashing basically saying we want to make more money so we are changing the rules.

    Once that is fixed, then they'll be onto something.

  2. I stopped shopping in Lynnwood when I got a” running a red light” ticket from a camera on a free right hand turn…

    1. Jared Killey
      Yeah I drive a cab and go through these lights all day. Its nothing but a violation of our fundamental liberties as defined by the constitution so bloated government can hire more personal and violate us more.
      Where does the money go?? Dare I say judges, politicians, marble walls in the courthouse??
      Anyway, its an outrage, government doesn’t serve the people anymore its quite the opposite.
      Lets fight over the homeless camps while politicians spend their millions on mansions.

  3. It is a shame City of Lynnwood!!!! If u guys are looking for ways to pay your city council men and the Police this is not just right!!!!! First Whoever is controlling the Camera at Lynnwood Elementary is a crook!!! you guys dole out tickets to drivers even when the school is not in session !!! This Nonesense shud stop becasue but the City and the Police are loosing thier integrity with this act which I think is DAYLIGHT ROBBERY…… Now that you guys have made some lil stupid changes … Wat happen to the tickets that are already handed out !!!! Should it be waived or Should Driver still need to go ahead and Pay !!!! Soon we will be mobilizing the Hispanic Community and the African American Communities to boycott shopping at Lynnwood .!!!! Everett here we come

  4. There is only a free right after you come to a complete stop…so stop next time and you won't get a ticket. =)

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