Seattle City Council passes transportation safety legislation that discourages dangerous drag racing with automated enforcement 

Seattle City Council passes transportation safety legislation that discourages dangerous drag racing with automated enforcement 

The Seattle City Council passed legislation today to reduce drag racing and dangerous driving. The ordinance, sponsored by Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle and South Park) and Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4 – Northeast Seattle), kickstarts the city’s plans to install speed enforcement cameras in key areas of the city that are heavily impacted by unsafe driving.  

“Our community has been pleading for help for years to stop drag racing. This month’s crash on Alki Avenue Southwest shows just how dangerous conditions have become,” said Councilmember Herbold, who chairs the Public Safety Committee. “I’m proud to have partnered with neighbors and pass this first-of-its kind legislation to make our streets safer.” 

“Automated cameras are an effective enforcement elixir that discourage reckless driving, increase pedestrian safety, and increase efficiency by reducing time-consuming interactions between drivers and police,” said Councilmember Pedersen who chairs the Transportation Committee. “This technology is another tool in our tool belt to reduce collisions and save lives on some of our city’s most dangerous roadways.” 

Anna Zivarts, a Seattle Public Schools parent said, “We have to stop prioritizing the speed of cars over safety and accessibility, especially the safety of students, seniors, people with disabilities and people who can’t afford to drive, and so I’m grateful that City Council has taken action.” 

New Restricted Racing Zones 

This is the first legislation of its kind in Seattle. Washington State authorized cities to use automated camera enforcement in restricted racing zones last year. This legislation designates 10 of those dangerous zones throughout the city. The zones include:  

A. Alki Ave. SW between 63rd Ave SW and Harbor Ave. SW.  

B. Harbor Ave. SW between Alki Ave. SW and SW Spokane St.  

C. West Marginal Way SW between SW Spokane St and 2nd Ave SW.  

D. Sand Point Way NE between 38th Ave NE and NE 95th St.  

E. NE 65th St between Sand Point Way NE and Magnuson Park.  

F. Roadways inside Magnuson Park including, but not limited to, NE 65th St and Lake Shore Dr NE.  

G. Seaview Ave NW between Golden Gardens Park and 34th Ave NW.  

H. 3rd Ave NW between Leary Way NW and N 145th St.  

I. Martin Luther King Jr Way S between S Massachusetts St and S Henderson St.  

J. Rainier Ave S from S Jackson St south to the city limits. 

Map of restricted speed zones listed above.
Map of restricted speed zones listed above.

What’s next?  

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the process of completing the equity analysis as required by the State law prior to installing the enforcement cameras. The Council anticipates the Mayor’s Office will propose additional implementation details in the coming weeks, which should include collaboration between SDOT and our Seattle Police Department.  

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