Lynnwood ready to turn on red-light cameras

Enterprise staff

Lynnwood is in the final stages of installing red-light cameras at four city intersections.

The new program will take video and high-resolution photos of drivers who run red lights, then send them a ticket by mail.

It doesn't change the traffic enforcement the Lynnwood Police Department provides the city, it will just add to it, according to police department spokeswoman Shannon Sessions.

On June 1 four intersections will be camera ready. For the first 30 days the program will only send warning notices to violators in order to educate the public before sending infractions one month later on July 1.

Signage will be posted in advance warning drivers that the intersection is "photo enforced," Sessions said.

Red-light cameras are triggered by sensors installed on the road when a vehicle runs a red light. The cameras take two digital photographs, as well as video, which document the violation. The program operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, and works in all weather conditions. The system is only activated when a vehicle runs a red light.

The cameras determine time, distance and speed as proof that the vehicle entered the intersection after the light turned red. The camera also will pick up drivers who don't stop before taking a right-hand turn on a red light. This particular violation is the cause of many injuries to pedestrians in crosswalks.

The Lynnwood Police and Public Works departments have been working together for nearly a year on this new project. The city has contracted with American Traffic Solutions to help manage the system. The first year will be a trial year and based on the system's performance it can be continued and other possible intersections added.

After a picture is taken the photo and video go to American Traffic Solutions in Arizona.

That firm will install and maintain all equipment related to the program and process and review all violations captured by the equipment. Experts there will forward the preliminarily approved violations to the Lynnwood Police Department, where specially designated and trained officers will also review the images and data.

If the officers approve of the violation, then a notice of infraction will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. The notice of infraction provides the time, date and place the violation occurred. The registered owner will have the opportunity to view the photos and the video of the violation online.