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ATS tackles reckless driving near Washington school

American Traffic Solutions : 25 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Installation of speed enforcement cameras at Renton school reduces potential for accidents due to reckless driving
Following up on the success of their intersection camera program to curtail red-light runners, Renton has added the first fixed-speed enforcement equipment in the State of Washington. American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS) installed the first sites at McKnight Middle School. Camera systems are being installed at Talbot Hill Elementary School and Renton High School, as well. All cameras will have a 30-day warning period with citations beginning this fall.

Both Seattle, for school zones, and the Washington State Department of Transportation, for constructions zones, are adding ATS mobile units for speed photo-enforcement. Renton is the first to use a permanent, fixed-site system. The speed enforcement camera system is similar in look to red-light camera systems used elsewhere in Renton and around the state and country.

Washington state allows speed camera enforcement in school and construction zones with the goal of protecting students walking to school and roadway construction workers.

According to the July 2, 2008 edition of the Renton Reporter, Renton Mayor Denis Law said, "One of our top priorities is to prevent needless pedestrian accidents and injuries, and speed cameras are an important tool in reining in reckless drivers. Speeding near neighbourhood schools is a very serious problem and I urge everyone to slow down. Speed cameras are a great tool to support safe streets."

The camera system is tied into the "children are present" flashers at the school sites. When the warning flashers are on the program will digitally photograph and record video of every vehicle exceeding the speed limit by more than 6 miles per hour. Renton Police Department then reviews the photographic evidence and approves the issuance of a citation to violators. Drivers violating the speed limit by more than 15 miles per hour will receive triple fines.

ATS serves more than 120 communities in 19 states with photo-enforcement safety programs. The City of Renton selected ATS for its red-light and speed camera programs earlier this year. Other Washington State communities that have selected ATS include Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Issaquah, Lacey, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Puyallup, Sammamish, Seattle and Spokane.
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