Traffic camera in a school zone speed trap.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Lynnwood, WA

I was under the impression that if your car was caught by a traffic camera violation and the ticket was sent to the registered owner, even if someone else was driving, the City of Lynnwood couldn't force you to state who was driving. The city says if I don't report to them who was driving, then they will charge the violation to me, the registered owner. Last year my wife went though a light as it was turning red in Renton, Wa, with the ticket coming in my name, her husband, and I submitted a declaration of non-responsibility. Even though they asked who was driving, I wasn't forced to tell them who was driving. The ticket was dismissed. How come the situation isn't the same with the City of Lynnwood in this school zone ticket?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mark C Blair

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The City may chose to cite you but according to the Lynnwood Municipal Code you need only file a sworn declaration stating that you were not the driver. See below:

    1.18.030 Prima facie presumption.
    A. In a traffic infraction case involving an infraction detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera under this chapter, proof that the particular vehicle described in the notice of traffic infraction was involved in a stoplight violation, railroad crossing violation and/or school speed zone violation, together with proof that the person named in the notice of infraction was at the time of the violation the registered owner of the vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person in control of the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred.

    B. This presumption may be overcome only if the registered owner, under oath, states in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody or control of some person other than the registered owner. (Ord. 2789 § 1, 2009; Ord. 2642 § 1, 2006).

    If you are uncertain of achieving the right outcome, I suggest that you retain an attorney with experience handling infractions in this court.

  2. Craig Andrew Cahoon

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Even though the Declaration of Non Responsibility form has a place where you can identify the other driver, the Lynnwood Municipal Code does not require you to identify the other driver. Even if you do provide the other driver's name, that does not necessarily mean the City can prove the case against them.

    I fight camera tickets in Lynnwood. I'd be glad to help you with this if either you or your wife receives a ticket there.

    Craig Cahoon

    Craig Cahoon The Cahoon Law Office, PLLC 206-795-1779
  3. Vitaliy Kertchen


    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The City is overstepping its bounds. Hire a lawyer.

  4. Mark Magnus Larsson

    Contributor Level 4


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The other attorneys are absolutely correct in that the law does not require you to name the actual driver. However, the judges in Lynnwood have taken a stance that if you do not name the actual driver they will enforce the ticket against you. Yes, they will disregard the law and in the cases I have handled the judges have told me that I am free to take it up on appeal if I disagree. The problem is that it costs about $275 just to file an appeal with the Snohomish County Superior Court, let alone attorney fee's on top of that. Most individuals will just pay the ticket which is usually around $100-200, especially because it doesn't get reported on anyone's driving record. It is a very frustrating situation, but thankfully only a few municipalities in Washington State will actually handle these infractions in such a willful disregard of the laws.

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