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Problem with Tacoma speed camera fixed but some got tickets

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Feb. 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm with 6 Comments »
February 1, 2010 1:57 pm

Spanaway resident Richard Johnson called Friday to alert The News Tribune to an issue with the speed camera near Stewart Middle School in Tacoma.

The camera is located in the 5000 block of Pacific Avenue and became active in early January, Tacoma police reported. It’s designed to looking for violators the 30 minutes before and the 30 minutes after the school day.

Johnson said he got a ticket in the mail for going 30 mph in the school zone. The problem, he said, was the warning lights notifying drivers they are in a school zone were not working.

When the lights are flashing, the speed is 20 mph.

Johnson noticed the speed camera taking pictures were the lights were not flashing. He called Tacoma police, who informed him that he was right . An officer told him how to contest the ticket.

Johnson called The News Tribune because he wanted others to know about the issue.

Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said the camera and the school zone lights are now synced up. The work was done Thursday. The camera and school zone lights are on two different systems, Fulghum said Monday.

The department heard from drivers who received tickets outside of school zone times or when the yellow lights were not flashing. Officers tried to reject most of those violations, Fulghum said.

Drivers who did get tickets are advised to contact Tacoma Municipal Court and “go from there,” Fulghum said.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Guilty until proven innocent. The system is improperly configured and results in issuing citations to drivers who are observing the law. Fulghum tells the drivers to stick-it and go tell it to the judge rather than undo the tickets.

    Contesting tickets costs the drivers time and money as they now have to proceed to court to present their cases. That’s time away from work, transportation and parking costs accrued to deal with an issue that the money-grubbing city government illegally took from these people.

  2. justridin says:

    Can We Say EXTORTION!!!!!

  3. fatuous says:

    “Contesting tickets costs the drivers time and money as they now have to proceed to court to present their cases.”

    I thought the district court allowed hearings by mail.

    http://www.piercecountywa.org/xml/abtus/ourorg/distct/HEARING_BY_MAIL_STATEMENT.pdf

  4. fatuous says:

    I thought the District court allowed hearings by mail.

    http://www.piercecountywa.org/xml/abtus/ourorg/distct/HEARING_BY_MAIL_STATEMENT.pdf

  5. I noticed the cameras in front of Stewart Middle School were flashing like crazy, but the yellow warning lights weren’t on. I contacted the City of Tacoma who transferred me to the Police Department. The person who answered proceeded to tell me how to contest a ticket. I told him I wasn’t caught in the camera but was concerned that there might be an accident because every time the camera starting flashing, everyone slammed on their brakes. He said he would “try” to contact someone with an indifferent voice. Made me wonder why I even bothered to call.

  6. fatuous says:

    Apparently, the Tacoma Municipal court does not have a hearing by mail process, and still operating in the dark ages.

    Hopefully a phone call can fix the problem.

    However, if it is necessary to physically go to court to fix this problem, then I would be livid too.

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