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Automated Traffic Safety Cameras in Work Zones - FAQ's

How does it work?

The camera is mounted in a small sport utility vehicle parked next to the highway. An operator calibrates the equipment and then the speed radar and camera goes to work, catching the rear license plate of vehicles speeding through the work zone.

Signs will notify drivers that they are entering a project where cameras are enforcing the speed limit through the work zone limits.

The photo technology is capable of capturing images in all weather conditions, day or night; and the contracted company has the ability to ticket out-of-state and out-of-country drivers. 

Why is WSDOT placing work zone safety cameras on projects?

WSDOT’s primary concern is the safety of our workers and the public in work zones. The top two reasons for work zone crashes are speeding and inattentive driving. An overwhelming majority - more than 90 percent - of people injured or killed in work zone collisions are drivers and passengers. Pedestrians, flaggers and roadway workers account for only one percent of these injuries or fatalities.

How will drivers know the cameras are out there?

WSDOT will post highway signs and notify local media prior to commencing any work zone safety camera activities. It is in the best interest of the project to advertise this program as widely as possible because the more people know about it, the more likely we will see reduced speed and lives will be saved.

Where will the cameras be?

Prior to any deployment occurring, there will be clearly marked signs stating that motorists will be entering work zone safety camera zones.

What’s the fine?

The fine for speeding is $137 and is similar to a parking ticket in that it does not go on the permanent driving record. The authorizing legislation requires the citation be mailed within 14 days, but it is our intent that the citations are processed in less than 14 days.

For the pilot project, the Legislature directed citation revenue be used to offset Washing State Patrol (WSP) and local court system processing costs. WSDOT does not collect any revenue from the program.

How does the citation process work?

The camera operator submits the image to the WSP, who then verifies the image matches the vehicle's registration information and authorizes mailing.

The violation is then mailed to the vehicle's registered owner from American Traffic Solutions, an Arizona-based contractor.

If the registered owner of the vehicle was not the driver committing the violation they will have the opportunity to sign a declaration stating they were not the driver and would then be required to provide the name of the driver.

"(iv) The owner of the vehicle is not responsible for the violation if the owner of the vehicle, within fourteen days of receiving notification of the violation, mails to the patrol, a declaration under penalty of perjury, stating that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner, or any other extenuating circumstances"

Where can I get a copy of the legislation?

If you visit: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1175-S.PL.pdf and then go to section 215.