Mayor announces more locations for School Zone Speed Cameras
SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced five new locations for future school zone speed cameras at locations across Seattle. The existing school zone cameras have led to a combined 16 percent reduction in citations for speeding across the four schools.
"The public has been clear that we need to do more to protect children as they travel to and from school," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "The data shows that the existing cameras are helping improve safety near schools by reducing travel speed and cameras should be installed at additional schools."
"Increasing safety in our school zone and beyond continues to be a high priority for me and for our school community," said Sherri Kokx, principal of Nathan Eckstein Middle School, a potential location for future school zone traffic cameras. "School zone cameras are one more tool that can help increase safety."
Last fall, the City installed school zone speed cameras in four locations - Broadview-Thomson K-8, Olympic View, Gatewood, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary Schools - in an effort to reduce speeding in school zones. The four existing school zone camera locations have seen an average reduction of 16 percent in citations for speeding, from the week of December 10 to the week of April 22. This downward trend is expected to continue, though it is still too early to project what reduction we will see over time. 96 percent of those who received a citation and paid it did not get another citation.
The City identified future locations for cameras at five schools based on an analysis of documented speeding problems that showed these schools would receive the greatest speed reduction and safety benefit from automated speed enforcement. These new cameras would be funded by revenues from the four existing camera locations and would be installed in early 2014, pending City Council approval of funding:
"Speed enforcement cameras are an effective way to reduce speeding and further safeguard our children, especially in and around schools," said Seattle Police Chief Pugel.
"School zone speed cameras are making it safer to walk to and from school," said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. "Additional cameras will help Seattle directly address the ongoing problem of speeding near schools."
Studies in other Washington jurisdictions with results over a longer time period would lead us to expect that the number of citations will continue to decrease. Reductions in citations seen in Lynnwood, Federal Way, and Lake Forest Park over the period of a year showed a range in reductions between 52 to 74 percent. The use of automated enforcement is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which cites numerous studies that have reported decreases in injury crashes and speed related crashes following implementation of speed cameras.
Speeding contributes to one out of every three collisions in Seattle and was a factor in 42 percent of fatal collisions between 2006 and 2010. Additionally, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle going 30 miles per hour has a 55 percent chance of surviving, while 95 percent of pedestrians hit at 20 miles per hour are likely to survive. The school zone speed limit of 20 miles per hour allows drivers more time to recognize students and reduces the time and distance it takes a driver to bring his or her vehicle to a stop.
This fall, the School Road Safety Initiative will include a School Road Safety Plan, which, among other efforts, will include a plan for expanding the school zone speed camera programs to more schools in the future. Revenues from the five proposed new camera locations will fund projects identified in the School Road Safety Plan. The School Road Safety Initiative is part of the Road Safety Action Plan launched in August of 2012.
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