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New school zone cameras in Spokane start sending warnings

Three new school zone cameras on the South Hill will start sending out warnings on Monday to drivers caught speeding.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Three new school zone cameras will start sending out warnings to drivers who are speeding, starting on Monday, October 3.

The cameras on South Bernard Street, South Regal Street and South Ray Street on Spokane’s South Hill were installed before the start of the new school year. They take photos of vehicles that exceed 20 mph in school zones at Ferris High School, Adams Elementary, and Roosevelt Elementary.

Sgt. Teresa Fuller works for Spokane Police Department's traffic unit.
She says the cameras have proven over the years to be a great resource.

"People that pay their tickets, 90% of them never get another ticket again," said Sgt. Fuller. "So, obviously the cameras are doing their jobs and doing them effectively."

Cameras in school zones are not a new concept. Several years ago, Spokane City Council voted in support of school zone speed safety cameras after a student was seriously hurt by a speeding vehicle. Back then, cameras were added throughout Spokane in 2015 and 2017. Now, with the start of this school year, cameras have been added to Bernard Street, Regal Street and Ray Street. This brings a total of eight cameras located near seven different schools.

Beth Nye is the principal at Adams Elementary. She says student safety needs to be a community effort. She further explains how the cameras can be utilized.

"I would think that a benefit could be that it might help send a message to our drivers that we really are taking school safety seriously and for them to do their part," said Nye.

Cameras will operate during school hours when the school beacons are flashing. After a warning period in October, actual tickets will start going out on November 1. At that point, if you are caught speeding when the cameras are active, the ticket will not go on your record or get reported to insurance. But you will face a hefty fine. Depending on your speed, it can range from $217 to a maximum of $483.

The City of Spokane has five photo speed cameras already operating in other school zones:

  • Lidgerwood Elementary School (S/B on Nevada)
  • Audubon Elementary School (E/B Northwest BLVD)
  • Ridgeview Elementary (N/B Maple ST and S/B Ash ST)
  • Willard Elementary (S/B Monroe ST)

Sgt. Fuller says the money from the tickets goes towards community projects.

“The money goes into the traffic calming fund. so things like the countdown timers downtown," said Sgt. Fuller. " Several years ago, they put new sidewalks up on five mile those were all photo enforcement funded. And I believe several of the newly lighted crosswalks at like Manito Park."

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