Spokane Judge Throws Out Red Light Tickets; Program In Jeopardy
SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane County Judge threw out three traffic tickets in a ruling that threatened to invalidate the entire red light camera system in Spokane because of the way infractions are signed.
Judge Jerome Leveque ruled that tickets issued in the State of Washington must be signed by an officer in the State of Washington. Currently, a Spokane police officer reviews each alleged infraction via computer before clicking a button that authorizes an Arizona company to print and mail the citation.
City officials declined to comment on today's ruling as attorneys review the decision but said they plan to meet early next week to discuss the future of the program.
The program has issued thousands of tickets since starting in the fall of 2008. Police said the program was designed to decrease the number of t-bone crashes at intersections by encouraging drivers to stop at yellow lights.
City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said the City will, "probably appeal."
She added the cameras will continue to operate as attorneys review the judge's ruling.
City ordinance mandates that fines collected be spent on traffic calming measures across in neighborhoods.
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