Chapter 10.06
AUTOMATED TRAFFIC SAFETY CAMERAS

Sections:

10.06.010    Automated traffic safety cameras – Detection of violations – Restrictions.

10.06.020    Notice of infraction.

10.06.030    Prima facie presumption.

10.06.040    Infractions processed.

10.06.050    Fine.

10.06.060    Nonexclusive enforcement.

10.06.010 Automated traffic safety cameras – Detection of violations – Restrictions.

A. City law enforcement officers and persons commissioned by the Lake Forest Park police chief are authorized to use automated traffic cameras and related automated systems to detect and record the image of: (1) stoplight violations at the intersection of two arterials; and (2) school speed zone violations; provided, however, pictures of the vehicle and the vehicle license plate may be taken only while an infraction is occurring, and the picture shall not reveal the face of the driver or of any passengers in the vehicle.

B. Each location where an automated safety camera is used shall be clearly marked by signs placed in locations that clearly indicate to a driver that the driver is entering a zone where traffic laws are enforced by an automated traffic safety camera.

C. “Automated traffic safety camera” means a device that uses a vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with an intersection traffic control system or a speed measuring device, and a camera synchronized to automatically record one or more sequenced photographs, microphotographs or electronic images of the rear of a motor vehicle whenever a vehicle fails to stop when facing a steady red traffic control signal or exceeds a speed limit to a school speed zone as detected by a speed measuring device. (Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)

10.06.020 Notice of infraction.

A. Whenever any vehicle is photographed by an automated traffic safety camera, a notice of infraction shall be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle within 14 days of the violation, or to the renter of a vehicle within 14 days of establishing the renter’s name and address. A person receiving a notice of infraction based on evidence detected by an automated traffic safety camera may respond to the notice by mail.

B. If the registered owner of the vehicle is a rental car business, the law enforcement agency shall, before a notice of infraction is issued, provide a written notice to the rental car business that a notice of infraction may be issued to the rental car business if the rental car business does not, within 18 days of receiving the written notice, provide to the agency by return mail: (1) a statement under oath stating the name and known mailing address of the individual driving or renting the vehicle when the infraction occurred; or (2) a statement under oath that the business is unable to determine who was driving or renting the vehicle when the infraction occurred; or (3) in lieu of identifying the vehicle operator, the rental car business may pay the applicable penalty. Timely mailing of this statement to the agency shall relieve the rental car business of any liability under this chapter for the infraction.

C. The law enforcement officer issuing a notice of infraction shall include with it a certificate or facsimile thereof, based upon the inspection of photographs, microphotographs or electronic images produced by an automated traffic safety camera, citing the infraction and stating the facts supporting the notice of infraction. This certificate or facsimile shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained in it and shall be admissible in a proceeding charging a violation under this chapter. The photographs, microphotographs or electronic images evidencing the violation must be available for inspection and admission into evidence in a proceeding to adjudicate the liability for the infraction.

D. The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible for an infraction detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera unless the registered owner overcomes the presumption set forth in LFPMC 10.06.030, or, in the case of a rental car business, satisfies the conditions under subsection B of this section. If appropriate under the circumstances, a renter identified under subsection B of this section is responsible for an infraction.

E. All photographs, microphotographs or electronic images prepared under this chapter are for the exclusive use of law enforcement in the discharge of duties under this chapter and, as provided in RCW 46.63.170(1)(f), they are not open to the public and may not be used in a court in a pending action or proceeding unless the action or proceeding relates to a violation under this chapter. No photograph, microphotograph or electronic image may be used for any purpose other than enforcement of violations under this chapter nor retained longer than necessary to enforce this chapter. (Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)

10.06.030 Prima facie presumption.

A. In a traffic infraction case involving an infraction detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera under this chapter, proof that the particular vehicle described in the notice of traffic infraction was involved in a stoplight violation or school speed zone violation, together with proof that the person named in the notice of infraction was at the time of the violation the registered owner of the vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person in control of the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred.

B. This presumption may be overcome only if the registered owner, under oath, states in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody or control of some person other than the registered owner. (Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)

10.06.040 Infractions processed.

Infractions detected through the use of automated traffic safety cameras shall be processed in the same manner as parking infractions. (Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)

10.06.050 Fine.

The fine for an infraction detected under authority of this chapter shall be a base monetary penalty of $136.00; and provided further, that whenever, in the future, the state of Washington increases the fine imposed under this chapter, by legislation or court rule, the city’s fine shall be increased to a like amount upon the effective date of such legislation or court rule. (Ord. 1110 § 1, 2015; Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)

10.06.060 Nonexclusive enforcement.

Nothing in this chapter prohibits a law enforcement officer from issuing a notice of traffic infraction to a person in control of a vehicle at the time a violation occurs under RCW 46.63.020(1)(a), (b) or (c). (Ord. 977 § 1, 2008)