Renton police extend red-light camera grace period

The department is seeing motorists running red lights “at an abnormally high rate.”

Renton Police Department announced today it is extending the red light violation warning period at the three intersections where safety cameras were recently installed.

Since the installation of the cameras, the department is seeing motorists running red lights “at an abnormally high rate,” according to a press release.

RPD installed red-light safety cameras at the intersections of Park Avenue North and Logan Avenue North, Talbot Road South and South Grady Way, and Talbot Road South and South Puget Drive last month.

The department said they would issue a 30-day grace period where motorists would be issued a warning rather than a $124 citation. After observing large number of violations at those intersections, the department is extending the grace period until June 13.

“Once we started reviewing the warning videos we were really surprised by the number of motorists running the lights,” said Commander Chad Karlewicz in the release. “It was far worse than we expected. In the first three weeks of monitoring the warning violations there were two and a half times more violations at those three intersections as there was in the rest of the city in an entire month.”

Renton began its photo enforcement program in 2008, placing cameras at several key intersections and five school zones. Each area has signs indicating photo enforcement is in effect.

According to RPD, citations are only issued following police review and are sent to the vehicle’s registered owner. They will not applied to an individual’s driving record and are not recorded by the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Vehicle owners who receive a citation will have access to photographs of the violation and can challenge the citation.

The city contracts with American Traffic Solutions, Inc. to administer the program. More information on the program can be found at rentonwa.gov/photoenforcement.

“Our number one goal is to make everyone safer,” said Karlewicz. “We want to make sure everyone knows about these intersections and how dangerous they are and adjust their driving habits before they get to the point they are receiving citations.”

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