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School speed zone cameras catch near 6,000 speeders

Seattle city officials were surprised by the number of speeders caught by new automated cameras installed in four area school zones. (KIRO Radio/Chris Sullivan)

Seattle city officials were surprised by the number of speeders caught by new automated cameras installed in four area school zones.

Since going live Nov. 1, the cameras have recorded 5,927 speeders who were sent warning notices.

"We were surprised by how many warnings we've handed out," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "We've handed out close to 6,000 warnings already which is much higher than we predicted."

The city planned to begin issuing $189 tickets beginning Nov. 26, but decided to extend the warning period by two weeks.

They note if this level of speeding continues, citations issued from the school speed zone cameras will bring in $2-4 million in revenue annually.

The city plans to explore ways to reinvest the money into building up safety around schools.

"Safety is our top priority, especially in school zones," said McGinn. "This project will not only reduce speeding, but we're also able to make our neighborhood streets safer than they were before."

The speed cameras are monitoring school zones at Broadview-Thompson K-8 School, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Olympic View Elementary School and Gatewood Elementary School. These schools were chosen because it was determined they would receive the greatest safety benefit from camera enforcement.

The cameras will begin issuing $189 tickets on Dec. 10.

KIRO Radio Editor James Rynasiewicz contributed to this report.

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