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Seattle Traffic Tickets-What You Need to Know

Posted Monday, February 19, 2018 by Andrew Charles Huff

Most people who travel downtown Seattle, whether in a vehicle, on foot, or bike have probably noticed the numerous new signs and added lanes for travel, sometimes causing some momentary confusion.

This year, workers will upgrade Third Avenue so commuters can board buses at all doors. They’ll adjust signal timing on Second and Fourth Avenues to give buses a jump start on cars. They’ll convert Seattle’s isolated trolley lines into a real system by joining them with a new line along First Avenue past the Pike Place Market. And they have already started work on a protected bike lane for Seventh Avenue.

Some of these projects could actually increase congestion through downtown this year. But here’s the good news: In the long run, they’re designed to help move more people through downtown by capitalizing on the growing popularity of transit in Seattle. And they’re intended to help us avoid an even bigger mess in 2019.

But it also creates unfamiliar situations for drivers who come across new traffic signs limiting access to certain hours or designating a “bike only” lane adjacent to car lanes, etc. More and more drivers are being ticketed in Seattle in part due to the new traffic regulations.

If you receive a traffic ticket in Seattle, you need to check the “Contested Hearing” box on the ticket and mail it into Seattle Municipal Court within 15 days. Seattle Municipal Court has a slightly different system in dealing with infractions. The Court will immediately schedule a “Pre-Hearing Conference” with a magistrate instead of a judge. This Pre-Hearing Conference is only for the purpose of mitigating your ticket and not contesting it, and therefore should be waived. Instead, a Contested Hearing is the only procedure to keep the ticket off your record.

If you receive a ticket, call my office at 206-729-3477 and let’s discuss your options. We will fight it and can keep it off your record, saving you from high insurance rates.

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