Bellevue considers adding more red-light cameras

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Several Bellevue intersections have red-light cameras watching out for speeders.

The city will soon decide whether more photo enforcement is needed.

In 2009, the city of Bellevue installed photo enforcement at trouble intersections like 148th and Bel-Red.

Drew Danielson had to pay the $124 infraction cost twice.

"The one thing that kills me is when they put the lights in and they give you tickets when they don't put the right turn arrows in," Danielson said.

But Bellevue says the cameras have been very effective, reducing collisions by 47 percent in some spots.

City council member Lynne Robinson says the council can leave the program as is, add cameras to two intersections (including 116th and 8th; 112th & 8th)  and a school, or get rid of the program altogether.

Robinson says she wants to learn more about the plans and impact, but adds:

“I feel that when you have high speed intersections with pedestrians. Anything we can do to protect the cars and the pedestrians is a good idea."

"If we can do it, that requires less manpower so we can have more officers in our neighborhoods protecting us there, that's a good idea. And if we can actually generate revenue that actually goes back to the police department, that's a good idea as well."

For the past four years, the program cost the city almost $250,000 - and got about $2.3 million in revenue through infractions.

Drivers we spoke with have mixed feelings on adding more cameras.

"Fewer is better," Steve Raley said. “I think when people see these things i think they tend to speed through more."

Catalina Clarke wouldn’t mind more cameras.

“Auburn does it and I don't try to run red lights out in Auburn," she said.

The issue of photo enforcement is up for discussion at Monday night's Bellevue council meeting though a vote is not expected.

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