Education

Fife drivers: Slow down near school, or risk traffic camera ticket

Drivers in the vicinity of Fife High School will need to exercise extra caution starting Sept. 3.

That’s the first day of school in Fife, and the first day that the city’s school-zone traffic cameras will start capturing drivers speeding through the 20-mph zone around the high school, and at nearby Columbia Junior High and the private All Saints School.

These are the first school-zone traffic cameras in Fife, although the city has red-light cameras elsewhere.

Last May, during a 30-day period, more than 800 warnings were issued for speeding in the school zone. But now, the tickets will be for real.

Fines will range between $132 and $268, depending on a driver’s speed.

Traffic cameras will monitor traffic traveling north and south near Fife High School along 20th Avenue between 54th and 62nd avenues. Cameras will also monitor traffic along Valley Avenue between 54th and 62nd.

The cameras will run on school days when lights on school-zone signs are flashing, between 6:30 and 9 a.m. and between 2:20 and 4:20 p.m.

A police officer will review each set of images recorded by the cameras that indicate a speeding vehicle. Drivers found to have violated the speed limit in a school zone will receive a ticket in the mail.

“The cameras serve as a very powerful deterrent to speeding through the school zone,” Fife Police Chief Mark Mears said in a news release. “As drivers become more accustomed to the presence of cameras, we expect violations to decrease.”

City officials selected the camera locations following a traffic study conducted by Redflex Traffic Systems, which provides speed-enforcement technology. The study detected more than 1,600 incidents in which drivers exceeded the speed limit by at least 8 mph during a five-hour time frame, according to the city.

For more information about the program, visit the city’s website at cityoffife.org.

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