Frequently asked questions
- Why is Everett installing traffic safety cameras?
Everett’s City Council initiated an automated traffic safety camera program for the purpose of reducing the number of accidents and injuries resulting from excessive speed and failure to obey traffic signals.
- Will I get a ticket for running a yellow light?
You will not receive a ticket for running a yellow light. The traffic signal cameras activate when a vehicle enters the intersection after the light turns red. Entering the intersection before the light turns red is not a violation and will not trigger the camera.
Every violation is reviewed by an Everett police offer. If a police officer determines that no violation occurred, a ticket will not be issued to that driver.
- When will you start giving out tickets?
All camera locations must be clearly marked at least 30 days before the camera is activated. As many other municipalities have done, the City of Everett will impose temporary grace periods after the cameras are activated to educate drivers without ticketing them. During this time, warnings will be issued to drivers instead of fines.
- What is the City doing about privacy concerns?
The City ordinance and state statute only allow the cameras to take pictures of the vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate and only while the infraction is occurring. The photos must not show the face of the driver or passengers, and the City must consider installing the cameras in a manner that minimizes the impact of the camera flash on drivers.
Photographs, electronic images or any other personally identifying data from automated traffic safety cameras are for the exclusive use of law enforcement and are prohibited under the statute from release to the public or to the media.
- Why have you chosen these locations?
The Horizon Elementary school zone along Casino Road will be the first active photo enforcement location. This site was chosen after consulting with the Everett Police Department and Traffic Engineering since Casino Road is a major arterial with documented speeding issues during school drop-off and pick-up times.
In analyzing the locations and approaches for photo enforcement, the City of Everett chose the locations with the highest number of crashes with citations for failure to obey the signal. Public Works staff reviewed the latest crash data and narrowed the potential locations down to intersections with traffic signals that were in the top 20 for overall crashes in the City of Everett. Next, the City looked at intersections with the highest crash rate, the highest injury crash rate and the highest number of crashes that were cited for failure to stop at a red light. Based on this review, six locations were selected:
• Northbound and eastbound Evergreen Way at Casino Road.
• Northbound Evergreen Way at 4th Avenue West.
• Northbound and southbound Broadway at 16th Street.
• Eastbound Evergreen Way and 112th Street SW.
• Northbound and southbound Rucker Avenue at 41st Street.
• Westbound 7th Avenue SE at Everett Mall Way.
All proposed red light photo enforcement locations are a mile or more apart, and they are on busy roads with high traffic volumes and higher operating speeds.
- What data is being collected to understand the impact of the cameras?
Washington state law has specific reporting requirements. Following installation of photo enforcement, the City is required by law to post an annual report on our website showing:
- The number of traffic accidents that occurred at each camera location.
- The number of notices of infraction issued for each camera.
Only zip code and information about the specific infraction (speed, time, location, etc.) are reported. Names, faces and demographic information is redacted.
- How will photo enforcement data be used?
The data collected will be used to help guide the future of photo enforcement. Private info is confidential and is removed from all reporting. Crash reduction information and zip codes will be used to assess the efficacy of the program.
- What has the City of Everett done to make sure that the community is aware of the Photo Enforcement Program?
The City’s outreach efforts are geared toward the goal of making sure every Everett resident who lives near a photo enforcement camera is aware of their presence and location. To this end, the following outreach is being carried out before cameras are activated:
- Clear and easy-to-read signage
- Presentations at neighborhood meetings
- Public surveys and questionnaires
- Mailings and door hangers to residents
- Meetings with community groups and other stakeholders
- Additional public meetings and information sessions
In analyzing the locations and approaches for photo enforcement, staff chose the locations with the highest number of crashes with citations for failure to obey the signal.
- How much is the fine?
The penalty is $124, which will be the same for school speed zones and red-light violations.
A police officer reviews the footage before notice of infraction is mailed to the vehicle owner. Like a parking ticket, the violations are not reported to insurance companies.
- Where does the money from citations go?
Our ordinance contains a rare provision; any proceeds from photo enforcement must go toward traffic safety projects or programs. Potential safety projects include school speed beacons, enhanced crosswalks, lighting, sidewalks and traffic safety enforcement programs.
- How can the public check to see how the money was used?
Data will be provided in an annual report on the photo enforcement website.