My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington.
I live near a school zone with flashing light warning signs and recently (a few months ago) installed cameras. I have two small children, one of whom now attends public school. I am VERY AWARE of and am extremely CAREFUL of obeying the law when driving, PARTICULARLY in school zones, as I would have a hard time living with myself if I ever injured a child, etc. with my vehicle.
The school zone is on a major street in an area that connects (seemingly) everywhere we and many others need to go, up to 6-8 times per day. The regular posted speed limit is 35 mph. I have witnessed people driving MUCH faster than the "flashing light" reduced speed of 20 mph on numerous occasions and have seen the cameras flashing away at them, sometimes as they speed by me as I go 16-18 mph.
This morning I entered the school zone on the way home from breakfast in a "cluster" of 4-5 other cars; next to me, behind me and in front of me. The lights were not flashing, nor were there any children present. It was (roughly) 7:30am. As we all entered the zone and passed the first sign (again - not flashing) the thought occured to me, "I wonder what would happen if you happened to be caught in the middle of the zone when this thing turned on?"
Sure enough, that's EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. The cameras began flashing wildly and took what I presume to be a ton of pictures of all of the cars, mine included.
My question is twofold:
1.) What is the law in this area and is there anything I can do once the ticket arrives in the mail? I've got an EXTREMELY good driving record and a degree in paralegal and will go to court and defend myself if I have to, but don't want to walk in there without the law / facts to support me.
2.) How does the camera system differentiate between multiple cars in the zone moving a slightly different speeds simultaneously (i.e. moving at 15 mph, 18 mph, 25 mph, 30 mph)?
THANKS in advance for your reply!