18 Cities (Including Burien) Win Red Light Camera Class Action Lawsuit
According to The Olympian, on Tuesday (March 2), a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging that 18 Washington cities, including Burien, were charging too much for traffic violations caught by red light cameras.
This means that all Washington state cities with red light cameras will be able to continue charging their current fines, many of which are set at $101 and above.
The “order of dismissal” was issued by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle, and this ends a lawsuit in which more than 40 drivers claimed that fines issued from red light cameras exceeded the amount intended by state law.
As weâ€™ve previously reported, attorneys for the plaintiffs were seeking class-action status over a 2005 law that says traffic-camera fines â€œshall not exceed the amount of the fine issued for other parking infractions within the jurisdiction,â€ according to the complaint.
Burien has five red light cameras, which have been up and running since last March, and according to a city e-newsletter, were averaging â€œaround 540 infractions per monthâ€ back in October 2009 â€“ equaling a projected gross of over $654,000 in its first year of operation.
Burien currently sends out a $101 fine for red light infractions, with five cameras operating at these three intersections (see map below):
- 1st Avenue South at SW 148th Street
- 1st Avenue South at SW 152nd Street
- 1st Avenue South at SW 160th Street
View Red Light Cameras in Burien WA in a larger map
The camera earning the most money currently is the westbound one at SW 148th Street and 1st Ave South, which (as of Oct. 2009) generated about 35% of the total infractions, or 189 per month (just over 6 per day), equals to a monthly gross of $19,089 â€“ or more than $229,000 annually, which on its own surpasses the original citywide $200k projection.
The cameras operate 24 hours a day and capture still photos and video of every vehicle that runs a red light at the intersection. After being processed by manufacturer RedFlex, the videos are accessed by Burien police through a website, where they are analyzed by an officer who decides whether or not to send out a ticket.
Other cities named in the lawsuit included:
- Bonney Lake
- Federal Way
- Lake Forest Park
So, to all your speeders out there â€“ don’t expect any reduction in red light camera fines.
And to the City of Burien (and all other cities with these device$) â€“ let’s hope you put the massive revenues from this semi-automatic “cash cow” to good use during these economic times.
- Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against 19 Cities, Including Burien, Over Red Light Camera Fines
- Burienâ€™s Red Light Cameras On Track To Gross Over $654,000 In First Year, Nearly 3x Projected Revenue
- Burienâ€™s Red Light Camera Citations Are â€œIn The Mailâ€
- City Official Addresses Red Light Camera Concerns
- Red Light Cams Go Live Sun.;To Bring In $200k In 1st Year?
- Burien Speeders Beware: Red Light Cameras Start Mar. 1st