The city of Seattle plans to install bike speedometers and other electronic devices in some of its intersections, and the attorney who represents cyclists is urging city officials to change the law to allow the devices.
Bike traffic cameras are installed in some downtown Seattle neighborhoods and are used to enforce traffic laws, but in other parts of the city they are being used as an excuse for cyclists to speed through intersections and into traffic jams.
In December, the city released a request for proposals for the cameras, which are mounted on bicycle lights.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has said the devices are a safety device and the city’s Department of Engineering and Transportation, which regulates the equipment, is reviewing the proposal.
A spokesperson for the city Department of Public Utilities, which owns the system, said in an email to The Washington Times that the system is in the final stages of testing and that a decision will be made by the end of the month.
“This is a technology that is needed to improve safety, and it has the potential to be a tool to increase the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, but we must ensure that it is safe for everyone to use it,” said Matt Lebbon, a Seattle-based attorney representing bicyclists.
Lebbon said he is concerned about how the city will use the devices, but he said he has heard concerns about the city being too aggressive in its enforcement of speed limits.
He said that could create a false sense of security for drivers who might see bicycles crossing the road, but could also create confusion among pedestrians and bicyclists, who might think they are on the right.
Lebson said his clients were riding in the bike lane and were not at an intersection when they were hit.
He added that he thinks the city needs to consider the safety concerns, which he said the department did not consider.
“It is very hard to justify the law being that you are going to go around and stop, if you have a speed limit, but there is no speed limit for you to go,” Lebons said.
“I don’t think that the speed limit is necessary.
It is only a signal to stop, but the way you stop should be a signal that you’re going to stop.”
The Department of Licensing and Inspections (DOL) is the city department responsible for enforcing the traffic laws in Seattle.
It did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a letter to the city, Lebon argued that the city could enforce the speed limits without the devices in place.
The letter, obtained by The Washington State Journal, says that speed enforcement is not a police issue, but an issue for the public and should be handled by the city.
“As a cyclist and a pedestrian, I understand that there is a need to keep your eyes on the road and to yield to other road users, but if you cannot see your vehicle when you’re approaching a light, you should not ride through the intersection,” Lebson wrote.
“The law that allows the installation of speedometers should be changed to provide a clear signal to cyclists and pedestrians that you will not pass when entering or exiting a bike lane.”
Lebons lawsuit says the devices will create a “perpetual hazard” and cause a “dangerous situation” in Seattle because cyclists and motorists can see them.
He argues that the devices increase the chances of injury and death for bicyclists in the city because they create a barrier to traffic and are “unnecessary and harmful.”
“If the city is going to have speed cameras installed and these devices are going on all over Seattle, we have to expect there is going of one type of speeder who will be riding at the top of the speed curve and the other type of rider who will go down the speed hump,” Leberons lawsuit said.
The city is also looking at whether to use sensors to help speed up traffic at intersections, Lebsons lawsuit argues.
The device, which can be installed in the front or rear of a bike, measures the speed at which a vehicle is traveling and displays a green light or red if the speed is more than 20 miles per hour.
Drivers can turn the lights on and off to speed up or slow down traffic, depending on the type of device.
Leberons suit says the city should not install speed cameras because it would be unconstitutional.
The speed limit in Seattle is 40 mph.
The city estimates that in 2013, the average driver in Seattle passed the speed of a speeder at just under 33 mph.
Lebron said he did not want the city to change speed limits in Seattle, saying he did it for his clients.
He said his office has received several phone calls from drivers, cyclists and bicyclist groups who are upset with the city for not using the devices correctly.
Lebeons attorneys also filed a lawsuit last year against the city and several members of the Seattle City Council over the city passing a law requiring drivers to wear