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Council News Release

8/17/2007  1:50:00 PM
Lisa Herbold, Licata Office, (206) 684-5331
Brian Hawksford, Rasmussen Office, (206) 684-8808
Dave Namura, Della Office, (206) 684-8806

Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember David Della

Licata, Rasmussen and Della push for traffic-safety measures in 2008 budget

SEATTLE Councilmembers Nick Licata, Tom Rasmussen, and David Della, today, proposed adding 24 traffic-safety cameras to the Citys Red-Light Camera Program. The councilmembers recommendation follows a draft evaluation report released in July that showed a great deal of promise for the Citys Red-Light Camera Program. This report found that violations decreased by one third and the severity of collisions decreased overall at the four intersections where the cameras are installed. Councilmember Licata, Co-Chair of the Special Committee on Pedestrian Safety, said, These cameras are preventing accidents. The city needs more of them. Councilmember Rasmussen said, When we first proposed this program we knew it would get results, but the level of success is even greater than we hoped. Councilmember Della, member of the Special Committee on Pedestrian Safety, said, As the City increases its density and we encourage people to get out of their cars, the City has a paramount duty to make sure pedestrians can cross the street safely.

In 2004, the Council prioritized establishment of a Red-Light Camera Program by including the passage of necessary enabling state legislation as a legislative priority for the City. Then, during the 2005 State Legislative session, the Council and the Office of Intergovernmental Relations worked successfully to change the standards and restrictions regarding use of traffic-safety cameras set by State Law. Finally, in late 2005 the Council unanimously passed ordinance 121944, cosponsored by Councilmembers Licata and Rasmussen, authorizing use of these cameras and setting the monetary penalty for a stoplight infraction detected by the use of the cameras as well.

The cost of 24 new cameras is approximately $1 million dollars. The revenue received from citations resulting from the six cameras at the four intersections currently under use is more than 2.5 times the cost of those cameras. If 24 additional cameras are funded in the 2008 budget, Councilmembers Licata, Rasmussen, and Della look forward to working with their Council colleagues and the Mayor in determining the location of the new cameras. Councilmember Licata said, Running red lights is a dangerous action that can cause injury and even death. Red-light cameras reduce the problem behavior and pay for themselves. Councilmember Rasmussen said, Public leadership is about getting results. Thats what this program is all about. Councilmember Della said, I applaud the efforts of Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata in starting this program in Seattle. The number one goal with this technology is the protection and safety of all of us and I strongly support additional cameras.


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