KIRKLAND, WA — For the safety of students, school zone speed enforcement will resume on Thursday, Feb. 18, including school zone safety cameras, Kirkland city officials said Monday.
The Lake Washington School District has announced that in-person services will begin on Feb.18 starting with kindergarten and first grade students and then phasing in additional grades over the following weeks. Drivers are asked to drive with caution and must obey speed limits as posted in school zones or they could be ticketed and fined.
“We want drivers to pay attention and slow down in school zones now that students will be present again,” said Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris. “It’s critical that drivers obey speed limits in school zones in order to reduce the risk of serious injuries or fatalities from collisions, and the school zone safety cameras are one of the tools that we use to encourage responsible driving.”
The Kirkland City Council approved the implementation of a school zone safety camera pilot at John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School, and Rose Hill Elementary in 2019.
The fine for exceeding the school zone speed limit (20 mph) for speeds over 25 mph is $136 per incident. A graduated fine of $250 per incident will be issued for speeds over 30 mph. Safety cameras operate 30 minutes before and after the start of school and 30 minutes before and after the end of school (based on individual school start and stop times). The program was suspended in March 2020 when schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited to be welcoming more students back to our campuses this month,” said Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent of Lake Washington School District. “We greatly appreciate our community members driving with care in school zones so that our students can make it to school safely.”
Students and families are also encouraged to use alternative modes to get to school, like walking, bicycling, or taking the bus rather than driving.
The Lake Washington School District website provides information about bus transportation and maps for walking and bicycling to school. The City of Kirkland is working in partnership with the Lake Washington School District, law enforcement, design professionals, students, parents and neighborhoods to identify key steps to make walking, biking and riding the bus to school safer, more convenient and fun.