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Enforcement cameras installed in two Bellevue school zones
Posted by Nicole Tsong
Starting Monday, photo-enforcement cameras will start recording license plates of drivers speeding near two Bellevue elementary schools, Bellevue police said.
Drivers who go over the 20 mph speed limit in school zones by Stevenson and Lake Hills elementary schools could find a warning in the mail for the first month. After the 30-day warning period, Bellevue police will issue $124 tickets for speeders caught on camera.
Cameras will operate during school start and release hours, monitoring westbound traffic along Northeast Eighth Street and 143rd Avenue Northeast, and Southeast Eighth Street and 143rd Place Southeast, police said. The speed detection system is synchronized with flashing school zone lights and cameras snap pictures of vehicles exceeding the speed limit.
The area with the cameras is labeled with photo enforcement signs, warning drivers and giving them up to 150 feet to slow down.
The two elementary schools have a history of speeding violations, with 522 speeding citations issued in 2008 for the two schools, police say. Officials say the camera program will help protect children in busy school zones by getting drivers to slow down. The department also reviews and approves each violation before sending out a warning or ticket.
The cameras at the elementary schools are the first for a pilot program. The city also is considering installing red-light cameras at major intersections around the city. But red light cameras don't always go over well with drivers. In King County Superior Court this year, a group filed a class-action lawsuit against two camera companies and cities including Bellevue, saying the cities made illegal profit-making deals with camera manufacturers.
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