Washington State Patrol Pilots Photo Radar on Interstate 5
By Kevin Miller
Drivers in the Pacific Northwest, be warned. Washington State Patrol, in cooperation with the state’s Department of Transportation, is implementing a new photo radar ticketing scheme in construction zones along Interstate 5 south of Chehalis. The pilot program uses an unmarked white Ford Escape filled with photo radar equipment. For now the WSP has a single photo-radar vehicle. The pilot program will run through December, and its success will be evaluated to determine whether to discontinue the program, or to expand the state’s photo-radar fleet.
There are several construction zones between Olympia and Vancouver, WA, so it makes sense for the WSP to conduct this trial on that stretch of roadway. Until now, the State Patrol actually had to have a trooper checking vehicle speed, either from the roadside using a radar gun or from the air. This program allows the WSP to ticket you in absentia. As the photo radar vehicle is only being tested in construction zones, the WSP will still be ticketing drivers the old-fashioned way in other parts of the state.
During the trial period, the tickets coming from the photo radar vehicle will not count as moving violations, so they do not go on a driver’s record. These tickets, which arrive by mail to the vehicle’s registered home address, merely generate revenue; to the tune of $137 per ticket. Northwest drivers, consider yourselves warned. Drive safely!
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