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Washington [State] Freeway Speed Cameras to Begin Ticketing
theNewspaper.com ^ | 9/6/8

Posted on 09/09/2008 3:48:50 PM PDT by Clint Williams

Washington state DOT officials announce the kickoff of a statewide speed camera program.

WSDOT / ATS speed cameraThe Washington State Department (WSDOT) will unleash its freeway speed cameras in the southwest portion of the state on Monday, September 15. WSDOT officials held a kickoff event in Chehalis on Friday to announce the date that ticketing will begin. The cameras will first appear in white Ford SUVs parked on the side of the road in a work zone on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis.

"Along with our Washington State Patrol partners, we place a high priority on highway safety," WSDOT State Traffic Engineer Ted Trepanier said. "The automated traffic safety cameras are just part of the highway safety program."

This program is designed to generate millions in revenue from $137 citations generated by the fully automated vans. Washington officials neglected to mention that ATS, an Arizona-based vendor, is the primary partner in charge of all aspects of the ticketing process in exchange for a significant portion of the revenue.

Washington officials also declined to disclose the speed at which cameras will trigger a violation notice. Instead, this will change over time to generate the precise number of citations desired, depending on the locations where the cameras operate. The WSDOT program may face significant political opposition if it continues to operate after voters adopt Initiative 985 (view details) in November. The measure will force cities operating local photo radar programs to turn over all revenue to a congestion relief fund -- preventing municipalities from using the program as a source of revenue. Five cities have already dropped photo ticketing plans as a result.

Illinois was the first state to begin operating speed cameras on a statewide basis, followed by Arizona. Over the past five years, fatal collisions in Washington work zones have declined 41 percent without any photo enforcement.


TOPICS: US: Washington
KEYWORDS: donutwatch; govwatch; marines; transportation
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To: SandyInSeattle

Sandy, they have to do that in order to avoid “speed trap” allegations. Sorry to have been rude earlier. Have a nice evening.


21 posted on 09/09/2008 4:08:54 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: Clint Williams

The citizens in that area can make sure the cameras are not profitable.


22 posted on 09/09/2008 4:09:32 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: cherry

I don’t have the links to back this up right now...but in the past I have read some reports that accidents have actually increased at some sites after the cams were up and running.


23 posted on 09/09/2008 4:09:35 PM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: steve86

No problem. :-)

Have a good one!


24 posted on 09/09/2008 4:10:05 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Go, Sonics! And take the Mariners with you.)
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To: Clint Williams

It’s just not sporting.


25 posted on 09/09/2008 4:10:07 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: Clint Williams
Revenue, always and only.

If it was about safety, offenders would work off their offense at public service. Much more effective at rehabilitation.

26 posted on 09/09/2008 4:10:44 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (The beauty of conservatism, Sarah Palin.)
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To: Clint Williams
Revenue. Gregorie has put Washington state into a 3 billion dollar deficit in her 4 years of governorship. Alot of it due to all the paybacks to the unions that backed her campaign. Now that she's up for re-election, they are all expecting another huge taxpayer funded payday.

They post these traps in rural areas were there isn't alot of speed limit signs, areas known to have confusing intersections, on freeways with steep declines where people may easily exceed the limit by a few MPH, and roads were there is a lot of non-local traffic passing through to get somewhere. They will recon these potential sites with the police and find the most profitable locations. Voila!!! Gouge the taxpayers and out of staters to help fix the budget shortfalls by spending addicted governors and reps.

I remember they tried this on Oahu a couple years ago to try to plug its massive deficit. Thousands started receiving these $100+ tickets in the mail with no explanation. People went nuts.

27 posted on 09/09/2008 4:15:12 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: ExtremeUnction
They did not plan for the large number people who went to court over the ticket. As a result, police departments and courthouses were hit with staffing pressures that were needed to handle the increase in court cases, including the processing of evidence, etc..

That's kind of hard to believe if these are the type of cameras that take a perfectly clear photo of the driver behind the wheel along with laser or radar speed measurement. I mean, you can show up in traffic court in Washington requesting a mitigation of the fine, but what kind of a contested defense would one muster to the violation? (other than the usual calibration issues, but the WSP has been extremely fastidious about procedures recently). It is true that the prosecutor's office (usually the county-District Court here) has to devote staff time to filling requests for discovery.

28 posted on 09/09/2008 4:15:36 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: SandyInSeattle
I was wondering if the photos will be used to enforce seat belt laws also, but it appears the photo is probably too closely cropped on the face for that. The WSP has been extremely aggressive in handing out seat belt violations. However, at a recent traffic court I attended, every single one of the violations was dismissed or the def was found "not committed"! I do wear my seat belt; always have.


29 posted on 09/09/2008 4:23:04 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: steve86
I mean, you can show up in traffic court in Washington requesting a mitigation of the fine, but what kind of a contested defense would one muster to the violation?

I can think of a few things, all involving cameras. A branch over the speed limit sign the most odvious...leaves deflecting the radar beam...some other reason it points in the wrong direction...All bs and some of it contrived, but still it requires resources to prove against and what's to lose? A little time? I'ld give it up along with a slightly higher fine just to be a pain.

30 posted on 09/09/2008 4:24:33 PM PDT by Dosa26
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To: Dosa26

In that previous post where I said the State failed on every single seat belt violation — OTOH, every single speeding ticket was found to have been committed, except for one where the trooper mistakenly wrote a speed on the ticket which was higher than what the radar showed. The judges have heard it all. This particular judge was actually quite knowledgeable on the technicals of the data capture systems that were used. Great entertainment. But I do think citizens should defend themselves within reason against charges — otherwise the state becomes a tyranny.


31 posted on 09/09/2008 4:30:17 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: steve86

If the system is configured as “plate only” (no photo of driver), one obvious defense is that it wasn’t you behind the wheel. But judges aren’t going to buy that you loaned out the vehicle or had it stolen with no corroborating evidence. And a fabricated statement would be perjury.


32 posted on 09/09/2008 4:50:57 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: steve86
OTOH, every single speeding ticket was found to have been committed, except for one where the trooper mistakenly wrote a speed on the ticket which was higher than what the radar showed.

I really don't care about people getting speeding tickets, I figure if they can't afford it they wouldn't be driving over the limit. I don't like technology being able to testify...A judge outside rochester actually allowed the defence to suppeana the guy in albany that calibrates the machines to come 150 miles to testify in every dwi case...seems appropriate to me. I do like that cops write tickets wrong though. A trooper wrote that I failed to stop at a yield sign once and the judge tossed it after I plead not guilty by mail (technically you have to show up here to plead not guilty.)

33 posted on 09/09/2008 4:51:57 PM PDT by Dosa26
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To: elmer fudd
The article is about: "The cameras will first appear in white Ford SUVs parked on the side of the road in a work zone on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis."

Not on a fixed structure!

It will take a vehicle operator to drive the white Ford SUVs to the prescribed parking spot.

34 posted on 09/09/2008 4:55:11 PM PDT by Buddy B (MSgt Retired-USAF)
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To: Clint Williams
"Safety, or revenue?"

Revenue, don't buy into "speed kills" variations in speed are what cause accidents.

Put a 3 dimensional foam cruiser on the side of the road with a fake radar gun, it worked for the British in WWII. (sort of)

35 posted on 09/09/2008 5:04:58 PM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: paul51

In private dealings 100% of the time is acceptable as that is a matter of property rights. If someone chooses to monitor their home or business that is their business, except for perhaps in restrooms or other facilities where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In the public sphere however, I think the government should have to demonstrate some need determined by set standards before they can monitor an area with cameras. Examples might be areas known to have problems with drug dealing or prostitution or intersections known for particularly hazardous traffic. The police would go before a panel of citizens and say, ‘we are having a problem with “x” at the intersection or 5th and Pine and we’d like to install four cameras at the location.’ Then the panel would review the request and either grant it or deny it. The panel should either be randomly chosen like jurists or elected by the community.


36 posted on 09/09/2008 6:03:44 PM PDT by elmer fudd (Fukoku kyohei)
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To: SandyInSeattle
If it was all about revenue, they wouldn’t put the vehicles in plain sight and tell us where they would be and what they look like

Have you seen all the minivans, pickups, economy buckets, and other unmarked state patrols that have been pulling people over for years on I5?

I've lived and driven extensively all along the west coast from San Diego to a few dozen miles of our northern border, and I've never seen an area with a fraction of the 4 wheeled revenoors as in the greater Puget Sound area, neither by square miles or population,

Like the article said, it's all about revenue, IOW, Highway Robbery.

BTW, as I recall, the speed limit in the Chehalis is 70mph and typically has light traffic.

Eff Chrissy and her surveillance drones.

37 posted on 09/09/2008 6:04:40 PM PDT by 4woodenboats ( DefendOurMarines.org DefendOurTroops.org Palin/McCain 2008)
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To: elmer fudd

That sounds fairly reasonable. The WA state police didn’t meet your criteria and I think they should be required to do so


38 posted on 09/09/2008 6:08:29 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: paul51

You’re right. The problem as I see it isn’t the cameras themselves, (they’re simply a tool), but that we don’t have any standards to govern their use. Imagine how overboard a city like Fife or Fircrest could go with cameras.


39 posted on 09/09/2008 6:16:50 PM PDT by elmer fudd (Fukoku kyohei)
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To: elmer fudd
The article is about: "The cameras will first appear in white Ford SUVs parked on the side of the road in a work zone on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis."

Not on a fixed structure!

It will take a vehicle operator to drive the white Ford SUVs to the prescribed parking spot.

40 posted on 09/09/2008 6:19:36 PM PDT by Buddy B (MSgt Retired-USAF)
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