Cars blocking crosswalk — still shot from Rooted in Rights video

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1793, having been revived last week and passed out of the House, now faces a showdown in the Senate Transportation Committee, where it must be heard and voted out Wednesday morning. At time of publication, the bills to be heard at the meeting were not publicly listed yet.

The bill allows camera enforcement of bus lanes, HOV lanes, crosswalks, ferry lanes, emergency vehicle access, and blocking the box, with tickets being mailed instead of handed to drivers while blocking traffic.

During the sausage-making process, the bill has been reduced to the downtown Seattle area only, and only for a pilot program expiring at the end of 2021, with only warnings being mailed in 2019. Starting in 2020, the first offense will still get a warning. Also, the state gets half the action on the profit from the ticketing.

The bill requires signage to be placed 30 days before camera enforcement starts, but still has no requirement for clear pavement markings, such as red paint.

Three Democratic committee members signed onto the companion bill, SB 5789, leaving seven committee Democrats potentially on the fence.

The Legislature adjourns sine die Sunday, April 28 (which happens to fall on Orthodox / Coptic Easter this year, so expect Saturday to be it for the regular session).

6 Replies to “Last Chance for Camera Enforcement Bill in Committee Wednesday”

  1. First, they don’t want anyone in their district ticketed. Second “Also, the state gets half the action on the profit from the ticketing.” And we all know that rural counties are paid for at the state level with welfare dollars from urban taxpayers.

    If they really believe all their anti-tax, small government rhetoric, rural conservatives should tell their representatives to stop soaking the city for more and more funds while they pay less than their fair share.

    Second – for anyone saying this is more about revenue than it is about traffic safety or people following the law: Be honest. Did people go the speed limit in school zones (meaning NO MORE THAN 20mph – not 20-ish, not “just 5 over,” not “around 20…”) near you before the cameras went in? They didn’t where I live. And now they do, because there are cameras. Red light cameras noticeably cut down on people running red lights. Just do. We don’t have to like it, but the truth is 90% of people’s resistance to cameras is that they know we’re all breaking the law regularly every day, and we don’t want to get caught.

    Put the cameras in, and no more welfare for rural conservatives who refuse to pay the price, but still want money for themselves.

    1. Can I “Like” this comment?

      I think we should have a state Constitutional Amendment Initiative that funds raised in a given county must be spent in that county. They’d probably vote for it thinking that they’re “supportin’ Welfare Queens in Seattle!”

      1. I’d support the discussion – it’s bad for the state in the long run, but putting it on the ballot might make for some enlightenment for some folks. I’ve spent enough time in red Washington to know that this is exactly the thought process there (I’ve also lived in a deep red state and would support the same discussion nationally just to educate people as to how things work; people in South Carolina – for example – literally believe that they are supporting all the “poors” in the nation’s cities, and that those are basically the only people that live there rather than cities being the economic drivers of the economy). It’s a bad idea in either case – that way lies the exact problem that the EU is having between “have” and have not” countries, and in Spain between Catalunya and the rest of the country – but educating the populace is never a bad thing.

        And, lest anyone misunderstand, when people in Pend Oreille or Garfield Counties say “Seattle” they mean the entire urbanized part of western WA.

  2. At this point it’s so watered down that what’s the point of even expending energy towards it? Counting on the signs to scare people into following the law?

    1. It’s a step in the right direction. It can be improved in a future legislative session. Even though it doesn’t require red paint, it’s the city that wants the law, and the city’s responsibility to paint the streets. None of these streets are state highways where WSDOT could object or neglect to paint them. The kickback to the state budget and rural subsidize is the price for getting legislative consent. There would have been no fines and no city revenue without the law, so the city isn’t losing anything. The law just isn’t as effective as it could be.

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