Speed Enforcement Cameras Expanded to Two More School Zones
Published on October 06, 2022
Media Contact: David Wolbrecht
Communications Program Manager
Updated Oct. 25, 2022
Installation of the new school zone safety cameras at Lakeview Elementary in Moss Bay and along 84th Avenue NE on Finn Hill has been delayed but is projected to be complete in December. Operation of the safety cameras is expected to begin with the start of school in January 2023.
The City of Kirkland School Zone Speed Enforcement program has been expanded to include two new locations for the 2022-2023 school year: Lakeview Elementary and the Finn Hill school zone, which covers Carl Sandberg Elementary, Finn Hill Middle School, Environmental and Adventure Middle School, and Henry David Thoreau Elementary. Pending installation and testing, safety cameras in these two school zones are expected to begin operating October 17, 2022.
“This expansion follows the success of the pilot in 2019, which showed a significant drop in the number of speeding cars at John Muir and Kamiakin school zones,” said Councilmember Neal Black. “By expanding this program, we’re increasing safety for students walking and rolling to and from school in Lakeview and Finn Hill.”
These two added locations had the highest incidences of speeds above the 20 MPH school zone speed limit and the highest traffic volumes in the most recent school zone studies.
For the first month that the new cameras are operating, warnings will be issued to drivers photographed speeding in the school zones. Cameras will operate only on school days and only during the period that the school zone flashing beacons are operating. At Lakeview Elementary, that’s 30 minutes before and after the start of school, and 30 minutes before and after the end of school. At 84th Avenue NE, the school zone flashing beacons will remain operating for more than an hour to cover the varying start and release times of the multiple schools in these overlapping school zones. The fine for exceeding the school zone speed limit (20 MPH) for speeds over 25 MPH will be at $136 per incident. A graduated fine of $250 per incident will be issued for speeds over 30 MPH.
Kirkland now has four speed enforcement school zones that began with John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School and Rose Hill Elementary, which had safety cameras installed for the pilot in 2019. Data shows the number of automated citations issued for speeding in these two school zones dropped by roughly 50% since the program started three years ago.
For the new Lakeview Elementary location, one camera is westbound on NE 68th Street, and another camera is southbound on State Street near 7th Avenue South. The Lakeview Elementary school zone had the highest traffic volume and the highest percentage of vehicles traveling faster than 26 MPH, or about 33% of vehicles.
For the new Finn Hill school zone, one camera is on southbound 84th Avenue NE, and one is northbound on 84th Avenue NE. The posted speed limit along the entire 84th Avenue NE corridor on Finn Hill from NE 124th Street to Simonds Road has been lowered. The Cities of Kirkland and Kenmore permanently changed the speed limit on 84th Ave NE from 35 to 30 MPH, which became effective July 5, 2022.
The City Council directed that net revenue from the School Zone Speed Enforcement program be reinvested into traffic safety projects and programs, including funding this program expansion.
See more information about the School Zone Speed Enforcement program.