Automatic speed cameras are making school zones safer, company says

Meadowdale-area cameras.

Our friends at Lynnwood Today report that the company that provides Lynnwood’s red light and school zone speed cameras says the cameras are dramatically reducing the number of speeders.

A new report by Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions says there was an 86 percent decrease in the number of speed violations near Lynnwood Elementary when comparing the 2009-2010 school year to 2010-2011, and a 78 percent decrease in the Meadowdale school zone.

The same report also said roughly 85 percent of violators near Meadowdale and 69 percent near Lynnwood Elementary were not residents of Lynnwood.

The largest number of tickets issued was in January 2010, when more than 2,750 drivers were cited near Lynnwood Elementary.

The top speed violator near Meadowdale was traveling 53 miles an hour, more than double the posted speed limit.

It’s important to note that in June 2010, the Lynnwood City Council adjusted the hours for the school zone cameras so they are only operational before and after school (some drivers complained they received tickets in the middle of the day when no children were present.) But a spokesman for American Traffic Solutions told us the new data reflects citations only issued before and after school.

You can read the whole report here (PDF).

  1. The comparison of vehicle speeds between 76th AV by Edmonds-Woodway High and in front of Meadowdale high is quite noticable. The difference is vivid.

    On 76th AV W southboumd it is “normal” to observe speeds around 34 mph with students present in or near the several school zones affected. But when the red lights flash at Meadowdale cars are dramatically carefully slower and effectively moving 20 mph.

    Therefore which location is most likely to suffer an student vs vehicle accident? What could be done now to prevent this statistically certain future injury accident?

    While citizens are generally opposed to the use of traffic cameras, cameras in school zones are an exception that I believe the public will gladly accept and which would be a wise investment.

    Cameras should be considered in the elementary, middle, and high school zones along the busy 76th AV W corridor. The “20 MPH when lights are flashing” together with cameras works and works well!

  2. I’m one of those citizens who avoids Lynnwood because of their cameras that punish drivers who drive safely, but fail to come to a dead stop during a right turn on red.

    But Ray, I agree 100% with your comments. When people ignore flashing lights that say slow down for children, they deserve the ticket. 76th seems like a perfect location for this.

  3. Thanks Joe, I suspect that a majority of citizens would agree with us, on this limited use of cameras for safety of our kids.

    College Place Midddle and the elementary next door are all ready currently using the flashing lights on 76th, which slows most folks down to about 25.

    It would probably take only two cameras strategically located to cover all three schools AND prevent a likely student/vehicle accident in the future.

    Is anyone listening?

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