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Safety Camera Enforcement

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For more information or questions, please contact the Municipal Court (253) 922-6635. You may also find a Frequently Asked Question & Answer page here.

City of Fife Safety Camera Enforcement & You

The City of Fife understands that you may be upset over the use of photo enforcement traffic cameras at some of our intersections. We hope the research below will not only give you a better understanding of the program, but also help spread the seriousness of running red lights.

  • In a city like Fife, it’s more likely that a driver will be injured in a crash while running a red light than in any other type of accident. Running a red light can cause property damage, injury and even death. Running red lights causes more than 750 deaths and nearly 140,000 injuries in the US each year. The results of a crash involving running a red light are often the same as those involving a drunk driver.
  • Fife’s red light photo enforcement program has resulted in a 30% decrease in collisions at key intersections. The red light enforcement program makes the City of Fife a safer place for residents and visitors. The program has made drivers more aware of the need to a complete stop behind the white line at intersections when making a “free” right hand turn on red, as evidenced by a reduction in citations.
  • ALL proceeds from fines go to the Public Safety Fund to be used specifically on safety enhancement projects. The City of Fife’s red light enforcement program makes the city’s streets safer by monitoring busy intersections, providing a disincentive (fine) for drivers to run a red light. The City of Fife is committed to managing the program responsibly and fairly to meet the goal of improved safety for residents and visitors. This year, the City’s Public Safety Fund is helping to pay for new sidewalks and lighting along Freeman Road and 70th Avenue East as well as new sidewalks along 62nd Avenue East.
  • All Fife intersections use standard timing for yellow lights. The timing of signals is set by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which uses speed and intersection design features to set appropriate and legal timing. This timing is tested and approved by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
  • Red light cameras are not meant to surprise drivers. The cameras are placed in plain view and are clearly marked with signage.
  • A police officer reviews every infraction and has the same discretion in determining whether to issue a ticket as if they pulled a driver over in their patrol car. Fife’s red light cameras take two photographs of your vehicle only if your car enters the intersection after the light has turned red. In addition, the cameras block the faces of the driver and any passengers.
  • A red light camera enforcement ticket is considered a non-criminal offense. This means you cannot go to jail for running a red light monitored by a camera and it does not become part of your driving record.
  • Over 450 cities in the US rely on red light cameras to reduce accidents at dangerous intersections. In Washington State, cameras also are used in Puyallup, Federal Way, Tacoma, Lakewood, Lake Forest Park, Lacey, Auburn, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Spokane, Bremerton, Bellevue, Renton, Burien, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Monroe, SeaTac and Seattle.
  • History of red light photo enforcement in cities across the county demonstrates they become safer communities. In Washington, D.C., fatalities resulting from running red lights dropped from 16 to just 2 during the first two years of the program. In Fairfax, VA, there was a 44% reduction in red light running crashes at intersections monitored by cameras. New Orleans, LA has seen an 85% drop in red light running as a result of their camera program. Ventura, CA installed red light cameras at 17 intersections across the city in 2001. Since then, the city has experienced an 80% decrease in accidents at intersections with red light cameras and a 29% reduction in crashes at the other intersections not monitored by cameras.

We understand that drivers may be running late to an appointment or in a hurry to get home and we hope the program makes them stop to think about whether the minute or two saved by running a red light is as important as the many lives lost each year.

For more information or questions, please contact the Municipal Court (253) 922-6635. You may also find a Frequently Asked Question & Answer page here.

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