Record No: CB 120600    Version: Council Bill No: CB 120600
Type: Ordinance (Ord) Status: Passed
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 7/25/2023
Ordinance No: Ord 126869
Title: AN ORDINANCE establishing additional uses for automated traffic safety cameras and designating restricted racing zones; amending Section 11.50.570 of the Seattle Municipal Code; and adding a new Section 11.50.580 to the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: Lisa Herbold, Alex Pedersen
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Presentation (6/20/23), 3. Amendment 1, 4. Amendment 2, 5. Map of Amendment 2 changes (added; 7/19/23), 6. Signed Ordinance 126869, 7. Affidavit of Publication


ORDINANCE __________________

COUNCIL BILL __________________


AN ORDINANCE establishing additional uses for automated traffic safety cameras and designating restricted racing zones; amending Section 11.50.570 of the Seattle Municipal Code; and adding a new Section 11.50.580 to the Seattle Municipal Code.


WHEREAS, automated cameras are a tool to enforce traffic safety that does not rely on in-person traffic stops; and

WHEREAS, following State authorization, the City of Seattle began use of automated cameras for red light enforcement in 2006, school zones in 2012, West Seattle Bridge closure restrictions in 2020 (since removed), and block-the-box and transit-only lane enforcement in 2022; and

WHEREAS, the Council approved funding in the 2023 Adopted Budget for doubling the school zone camera program and requested a detailed implementation plan and evaluation of traffic safety camera programs from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) through a Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI-SDOT-304-A-001-2023 as adopted in Resolution 32087) due to Council by August 1, 2023; and

WHEREAS, SLI-SDOT-304-A-001-2023 specifically requests: (1) a detailed implementation plan for the doubling of the School Zone Camera that includes a schedule of school zone camera deployment by location, documentation of the race and social justice analysis used to inform the new school zone camera deployments, the anticipated budget adjustments to program administration and school safety programs based on the deployment schedule, and any anticipated legislation necessary to implement the camera deployment; and (2), an evaluation of the costs and benefits for expanding other automated traffic safety camera programs, including red light cameras, block-the-box/transit-lane enforcement cameras, speed zone cameras, and other traffic camera authority provided under state law, including a recommendation and proposed schedule for deployment of additional automated traffic safety cameras and programs; and

WHEREAS, in 2022, the State Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESSB) 5974 amending Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.63.170, authorizing additional uses of automated cameras in specific zones; and

WHEREAS, RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(i)(C) authorizes the use of automated cameras to detect speed violations in locations designated by local ordinance as a zone subject to specified restrictions and penalties on racing and race attendance; and

WHEREAS, RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(ii) requires an equity analysis that evaluates livability, accessibility, economics, education, and environmental health in determining where to locate an automated camera; and

WHEREAS, the Council anticipates that SPD and SDOT will present an implementation plan to make use of this authorization for consideration as part of a future budget proposal, including progress on completing the required equity analysis of proposed camera locations and in consideration of Vision Zero safety goals; and

WHEREAS, the Council anticipates that SPD and SDOT will work with the Office of Civil Rights and SDOT’s Transportation Equity Workgroup in the development of camera enforcement implementation plans to address issues such as mitigating the disproportionate impacts of fines and focus on highest-risk behavior; creating an equitable citywide distribution of cameras; developing a policy to prioritize physical street safety improvements before implementing automated ticketing; and addressing privacy concerns by documenting, publicization and strengthening protections around the use of images and data collected by automated enforcement cameras; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. Section 11.50.570 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 126183, is amended as follows:

11.50.570 Automated traffic safety cameras

A. Automated traffic safety cameras may be used to detect one (((1))) or more of the following: stoplight, railroad crossing or school speed zone violations, ((or)) violations included in subsection 11.50.570.H for the duration of the pilot program authorized under subsection 11.50.570.H, maximum speed limit violations in school walk, park, and hospital zones as permitted by state law, or, consistent with RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(i), on streets that are either designated as a priority location in a road safety plan submitted to the state, show a significantly higher rate of collisions than the City average over a period of at least three years prior to installation and other speed reduction measures are not feasible or have not been sufficiently effective at reducing travel speeds, or is a street designated by ordinance as a restricted racing zone. Except as provided in subsection 11.50.570.H, use of automated traffic safety cameras is restricted to the following locations only:

1. Intersections of two (((2))) or more arterials with traffic control signals that have yellow change interval durations in accordance with Section 11.50.130, which interval may not be reduced after placement of the cameras;

2. Railroad crossings; ((and))

3. School speed zones ((.));

4. School walk areas as defined in RCW 28A.160.160;

5. Public park speed zones;

6. Hospital speed zones; and

7. Additional speed detection locations that meet any of the criteria in RCW 46.63.170(1)(d).

* * *

C. Before adding additional automated traffic safety cameras or relocating any existing camera, the City Council must prepare an analysis of the locations within the City where automated traffic safety cameras are proposed to be located. Beginning June 7, 2013, an annual report must be posted on the City's website of the number of traffic accidents that occurred at each location where an automated traffic safety camera is located as well as the number of notices of infraction issued for each camera and any other relevant information deemed appropriate. For automated traffic safety cameras authorized by RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(i), the City must complete an equity analysis that evaluates livability, accessibility, economics, education, and environmental health, and shall consider the outcome of that analysis when identifying where to locate an automated traffic safety camera.

* * *

Section 2. A new Section 11.50.580 is added to the Seattle Municipal Code as follows:

11.50.580 Designation of restricted racing zones

Pursuant to RCW 43.63.170(1)(d)(i)(C), the following streets are designated as restricted racing and race attendance zones subject to automated camera enforcement to detect maximum speed limit violations:

A. Alki Ave SW between 63rd Ave SW and Harbor Ave SW.

B. Harbor Ave SW between Alki Ave SW and SW Spokane St.

C. West Marginal Way SW between SW Spokane St and 2nd Ave SW.

D. Sand Point Way NE between 38th Ave NE and NE 95th St.

E. NE 65th St between Sand Point Way NE and Magnuson Park.

F. Roadways inside Magnuson Park including, but not limited to, NE 65th St and Lake Shore Dr NE.

G. Seaview Ave NW between Golden Gardens Park and 34th Ave NW.

H. 3rd Ave NW between Leary Way NW and N 145th St.

I. Martin Luther King Jr Way S between S Massachusetts St and S Henderson St.

J. Rainier Ave S from S Jackson St south to the city limits.

Section 3. The City shall not install new automated traffic safety cameras under the authority of SMC 11.50.570.A.4, 11.50.570.A.5, 11.50.570.A.6 or 11.50.570.A.7 until the Executive has submitted to the City Council, and filed with the City Clerk, a response to Statement of Legislative Intent SDOT-304-A-001-2023 (Resolution 32087).



Section 4. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days after its approval by the Mayor, but if not approved and returned by the Mayor within ten days after presentation, it shall take effect as provided by Seattle Municipal Code Section 1.04.020.

Passed by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2023, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this ________ day of _________________________, 2023.


President ____________ of the City Council

                     Approved /                     returned unsigned /                     vetoed this _____ day of _________________, 2023.


Bruce A. Harrell, Mayor

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2023.


Scheereen Dedman, City Clerk