School-zone cameras catch over 3,000 speeders in 2 weeks

SEATTLE -- In the past two weeks, more than 3,000 people in Seattle were busted for going too fast in school zones.

According to the Mayor’s Office, 3,263 drivers were cited for speeding in one of four elementary school traffic camera safety zones. Those cameras are installed near Broadview Thompson, Olympic View, Gatewood and Thurgood Marshall Elementary.

Broadview Thompson Elementary Principal Wyeth Jessee was surprised to learn 881 people got tickets in front of his school.

“It does far exceed what I anticipated. I think it tells us that this program is necessary,” said Jessee.

In front of Thurgood Marshall Elementary in the Judkins Park neighborhood, more than 1,500 drivers have been clocked speeding past the school since the New Year. William Kelley lives right across the street.

“I live here and even I forget. You have to remember to slow down. It’s $190 (fine) and that’s a lot. I was talking to my sister-in-law and she said they got her twice,” said Kelley.

The speed cameras went live on Nov. 1, after research showed those schools had the most hazardous speeding problems.

In June, the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle police will analyze all the data and present it to the Mayor’s Office. Then city officials will decide whether to expand the program.

The money generated from the tickets goes into the city's general fund, but the idea is to use that money for other traffic safety projects near schools.

The exact ticket citations break down as follows:

Olympic View Elementary: 437

Gatewood Elementary: 435

Broadview Thompson Elementary: 881

Thurgood Marshall Elementary: 1,510