The final numbers haven’t been tabulated, but court staff are
bracing for a flood of residents contesting tickets for running red
The city has placed six cameras around town to catch red-light
scofflaws in the act, and the time to pay up or stand in front of a
judge is coming. Read the last story on the lights
Theresa Ewing, Bremerton
Municipal Court Administrator, said Thursday the court has yet
to add up how many people are contesting their tickets, which
arrive in the mail, but the first court calendar for the hearings
has been set for June 10.
“We have a lot of people who are unhappy,” she said.
Contested hearings will take place at 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and
mitigation hearings will began at 4 p.m., Ewing said.
Each calendar will have time for 10 defendants and each person
will have the chance to view the video of themselves running, or
not running, a red light, as the case may be.
“That’s what the judge will see,” she said.
If an hour and a half doesn’t seem like a lot of time, it isn’t.
Will there be more calendars?
“Oh yes!” Ewing said. Although the final tally isn’t known yet,
officials say there will be lots of contested citations.
Municipal Court Judge James Docter will conduct the hearings,
unless they become so numerous a court commissioner has to be sworn
“It just depends on the volume,” she said.
Commissioners are sort of stand-in judges, unelected, but vested
with the authority to conduct a court’s business. Currently the
court does not have any commissioners, Ewing said.
The primary complaint court staff has been hearing is people who
didn’t know they had to come to a complete stop at a red light.
Also, staff has heard people say it wasn’t them behind the
“We have had quite a few of those,” she said.
Because the Legislature prohibits the Redflex cameras from photographing
actual people, it might seem like a good defense.
However, the Revised Code of Washington (in other words, the
law) says that owners are responsible for their cars, Ewing said.
There are a few defenses, but they include providing proof that the
car was reported stolen or that a new owner of a car hadn’t
registered it yet.
Stay tuned as details become available. And if you’re preparing
for your day in court, and want to share your story, drop us a
By coincide, my hometown of Renton
just announced the start of it’s red light camera program.