Letters to the Editor

Traffic cameras leave a stench | Federal Way letters

Mayor Skip Priest, it happened again this morning at 7:16 a.m. The photo enforcement system in front of Twin Lakes Elementary School malfunctioned. If American Traffic Solutions cannot program its system to operate properly, terminate its contract.

This is the fourth time in the past year that I have personal knowledge of the ATS system taking pictures when the school was not in session. For example, on Oct. 28, 2010, at 8:51 a.m. there was no school due to student-led conferences. The yellow flashing lights were not on, but ATS was taking pictures. On Jan. 21, 2011, there was no school, no yellow flashing lights, but pictures were being taken. This is also a safety issue. When school was closed due to snow, some cars were traveling at 35 mph while other cars hit their brakes when they saw the photo flashes. One woman spun her car 360 degrees by trying to slow to 20 mph with snow and ice on the road.

The problems with ATS are not limited to the above. On Feb. 14, 2011, I sent in a hearing request form, which was due on Feb. 22. ATS received my certified mail on Feb. 17 at 8:25 a.m. What do they do? They ignore my request for a hearing, send a notice of delinquent infraction, claim I forfeit my right to a court hearing, and demand late fees.

Please note that I have not had a traffic ticket, a parking ticket, a citation, or any other blemish on my driving record for over 15 years. Moreover, I was not the driver of the vehicle for the claimed infraction and I have the evidence to prove it.

I have a son who walks to Green Gables Elementary and I am a strong supporter of the reduced speed limit when students are present. I also do not want to see Federal Way sued due to the negligent actions, if not worse, of American Traffic Solutions, especially since it will affect my taxes and property value.

That said, the business practices of ATS leave a stench.

The city council created this mess by contracting with an inept company. Who will take the initiative to correct the mess?

Bruce Biermann, Federal Way

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