Misfiring traffic camera a nuisance for homeowner
Story Published: Aug 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM PDT
Story Updated: Aug 7, 2009 at 11:34 PM PDT
Joel Moreno Watch the story
SEATTLE -- Red light cameras pop like the paparazzi. Their brilliant flash lights up license plates to catch red-light runners red-handed.
But it's a glaring problem for Don Schaab, who can do without all that glitz.
"And it's just constantly in the evening, just 'flash, flash, flash,'" he said.
A red-light camera sits right in front of Schaab's West Seattle home, and the home owner says the flash triggers at all hours of the night, even when no one's close to running a light.
"Cars will just be sitting at the intersection, nothing moving, and it's just 'flash, flash,'" he said.
KOMO News observed a number of what program manager Mike Quinn refers to as "false positives."
Quinn says crews are tweaking the misfires; the important thing is stopping drivers who do break the law.
"The program is all about getting safety results for the public," he said.
The camera at Schaab's corner has led to 386 citations since it went online on March 9. The number breaks down to 77 tickets a month.
Schaab says the city promised to install a reflector to shield his house, but he hasn't heard a word since.
Quinn says installing a guard at this site won't work because it would affect the photographic evidence.
"Our technicians indicated that there might be some compromise of the second photo of the violation were they to install a shield," he said.
Quinn says he's received other complaints, but more common are requests for cameras at street corners that don't have them yet.
"If there are people who do want these in their neighborhood, here's one they can have right here," Schaab said.
The city says a crew will monitor the West Seattle red-light camera next week to see what adjustments can be made.