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Latest red-light photo-enforcement numbers still show a reduction
Violations at red-light, photo-enforced intersections and school zones have dropped significantly over the third quarters of the last four years, according to the Auburn Police Department's latest report card on the program, "Photosafe Auburn, Third Quarter Review, Jan.-September 2013."
Assistant Chief Bill Pierson presented the Municipal Services Committee the latest numbers on the program Monday afternoon at City Hall.
The City spends about $180,000 every year to Scottsdale-Ariz.-based RedFlex Traffic Systems to keep it going. Today it is spending more money than it's taking in.
The City launched the program on June 30, 2006 at two intersections: Auburn Way South and 4th Street Southeast; and at Auburn Way South and M Street Southeast. It added Harvey Road and 8th Street in December of that year. Today the program numbers 17 cameras throughout the city, including safety cameras for Mt. Baker Middle School and in the school safety zones of Chinook, Dick Scobee, Lea Hill, Lakeland Hills and Arthur Jacobsen elementaries.
The data compare the third quarters of the years 2009 to 2013, showing the percentage of red-light violations, that is, the total number written by officers as opposed to actual infractions issued:
• Auburn Way South and 4th: southbound, -25.8 percent; northbound, -36.3 percent
• M Street and Auburn Way South: westbound, -5.4 percent, northbound, data unavailable, inoperative because of construction until June 20, 2013.
• Eighth and Harvey, -54.1 percent
• Total: -43.5 percent
Officers who review the video clips RedFlex provides may decide not to issue infractions based on a number of reasons, including unreadable or obstructed plates, emergency vehicles, inclement weather and the officer's own discretion.
The third-quarter data for school zone speed enforcement is as follows:
• Dick Scobee, -59.8 percent
• Chinook, -87.4 percent
• Mt. Baker, -52.7 percent
• Lea Hill Elementary -31.8 percent
• Arthur Jacobsen Elementary -77.4 percent
• Lakeland Hills, -16.5 percent.
City officials say the program's primary goal is to improve traffic safety through reduction of red-light violations and associated collisions and to reduce speeding in designated school zones.
City officials originally took revenue from the program left over after all expenses are paid and dedicated it to other areas of the city under the umbrella of traffic calming, but the program today is running at a deficit.