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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: WA

    Recently my mom received a speeding ticket in the City of Bellevue, WA for going 29 MPH in a 20 MPH School Zone at approximately 12 PM. She has contested the ticket and her hearing is set for tomorrow.

    The notice of infraction has the following officer's statement:

    "I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington the following is true and correct. I am a sworn Bellevue Police Officer and based upon my review of the electronic images made by the automated traffic safety camera, I have probably cause to believe, and do believe, that on the date and time and at the location listed above, the vehicle described above was in violation of RCW 46.61.440 as adopted by Bellevue City Code 11.49.010 (Exceeds a speed limit in a school speed zone) and enforced pursuant to BCC 11.49(Automated Traffic Cameras). The school speed zone is fully posted with school speed limit signs indicating a 20 MPH speed limit when warning lights are flashing or children are present. I know the technology is such that the camera is operating only when flashing lights are in operation. The electronic images taken together showing the vehicle and its license plate portray a fair and accurate representation of the location listed above and indicate the vehicle was speeding in the school zone as described as in the ordinance."

    The notice also provide photos and a link to video of the infraction, which do show the light . Also on the back of the notice it states:

    "Pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 this notice of infraction constitutes the City of Bellevue's discovery response. It contains the officer's sworn statement and the names of the witnesses..."

    So when she sent in a request of discovery including asking for the maintenance and calibration records for the SMD, the City of Bellevue replied with a letter citing IRLJ Rule 3.1(b) stating it already supplied all necessary discovery via the note of infraction which contains the statement above and that's all it's required to provide. Is that a point worth arguing? Or are that not obligated to prove the system is functioning correctly.

    I only bring this up because in the video it does not show any school buses of children anywhere within the vicinity of her car. Also I went with her to the area of the infraction and took pictures of the school and the entire school is fenced in, there are no playground areas near the street, it is all a big parking lot, so it's a wonder why the lights were flashing in the first place. Also there is no marked or unmarked crosswalk where the car is shown speeding, the only cross walk has already been passed by the time the video is taken.

    And if it makes a difference the regular speed limit on that street is 35 MPH, so she was well under that.

    Can I make the argument that the lights should never have been flashing because there was no visible school bus or children and that the school is built in a way in which children would not be able to get anywhere near the side walk, also that the video and photos of the infraction only show the car in an area where there are no crosswalks. Also by withholding the maintenance information, the City is not providing beyond a reasonable doubt that the SMD has received the proper maintenance for it to be working as it should.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, please let me know if any more information is needed. Thanks so much in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,623

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    Unless you are a licensed attorney, you cannot make any argument at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    Well she would be defending herself but I'm just wondering if these are legitimate arguments for her to use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,203

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    If that's the entire statement, she should move for dismissal for lack of evidence. They must provide a serial number of the camera and show that it was calibrated. Without that, they have NO case. An officer (who did not even state their qualifications) is stating that what they saw on the camera is what reality is? I don't think so. And, to wit, this officer did not state that s/he has PERSONAL knowledge of the calibration of this unit. The entire statement is hearsay.

    Brendan/Barry, please correct me if I am off track here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,299

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    You can try arguing that. But I would go with the no SMD Cert on file with the court and no expert testimony before making a hearsay argument.
    "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." ~Robert Frost

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    while pictures are admissible, anything else (timing information etc.) is NOT...per melendex-diaz

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: Photo Enforced Speeding Ticket in a School Zone in Wa

    Well, I've never seen a photo ticket from Belleview. But, I notice that OP does not give the full statement from the back regarding discovery.

    Quote Quoting KingFelix
    View Post
    Also on the back of the notice it states:

    "Pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 this notice of infraction constitutes the City of Bellevue's discovery response. It contains the officer's sworn statement and the names of the witnesses..."
    I strongly suspect that somewhere after those three dots, it says something about how to get the radar calibration and maintenance records online (or similar). However, I have always wondered about the hearsay argument. Since I doubt that the officer issuing the NOI actually goes out and tests the radar for proper operation (and I don't think that photo tickets even usually say anything about regular tests - except for the calibration checks every X number of months), how can the state get around a question of verifying the radar was operating properly at the time of the violation? How do they know there was no RF interference or, for that matter, some jokester holding a 45 MPH tuning fork in front of the antenna (while standing out of camera range) as cars go by?

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