Automated traffic safety cameras used to identify speeding vehicles in school zones have dramatically reduced the number of violations at Meadowdale High School during hours when children are present.
A report released Wednesday by American Traffic Solutions, a traffic safety camera company, says Lynnwood saw an overwhelming reduction of 77.9 percent in the number of violations in the Meadowdale High School safety zone. The report compared the time period of October 2009 through May 2010 to the same time period in 2010-2011.
The cameras are placed on the eastbound and westbound side of 168th Street SW in Lynnwood in the Meadowdale safety zone, where the speed is posted at 20 mph.
The speed of the top violator at Meadowdale was 53 mph, the report says.
The report also determined that more than 84 percent of speed violators were non-Lynnwood residents. The remaining 16 percent were from Lynnwood. A large percentage of Meadowdale students live in Edmonds and unincorporated Snohomish County.
The report concluded that a decrease in the average speed of violators, as well as a decrease in the total number of violations, shows that violators in the school zone are traveling at lower speeds overall.
American Traffic Solutions (ATS) cameras aren’t just used at Meadowdale, of course. Lynnwood has an aggressive traffic-camera policy which provides income for the city’s general fund.
Edmonds considered using traffic cameras, at one point trying them out at locations such as the intersection of Edmonds Way and 100th Avenue West, but has opted not to use them.
“Reducing speed violations means that roads are safer for kids and their families,” said Jim Tuton, ATS president and CEO. "Washington State cities are really leading the way in road safety by ensuring that school zones are monitored for speed violations and efforts are taken to discourage reckless driving when students are present.”
Tuton said that school zone safety cameras are only on when school is in session and children are around.
The study from ATS, which contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states, study also looked at school school safety zones in Federal Way, Lake Forest Park, Bellevue and Renton.