Due to an increase in questions and misinformation/bad legal advice on facebook and other forums I am creating this webpage specifically to assist those who have received a Notice of Infraction from the city of Kirkland from a traffic camera (not a uniformed police officer).
It is my legal opinion that the city of Kirkland has provides persons cited with infractions with misinformation that is not legally correct. Note: My law firm does not represent persons that have been cited with this type of infraction and this post is for the purposes of providing correct information.
How do City of Kirkland traffic cameras work?
City of Kirkland Traffic Cameras use radar to measure the speed of a vehicle and photo graph the rear and sides of a vehicle. However, the picture must not reveal the face of the driver or passengers in the vehicle. See RCW 46.63.170(f).
How does the City of Kirkland know I was driving the vehicle?
They don't. A Notice of Infraction is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. Proof that the vehicle was driving in violation of a traffic law and the named person was the registered owner of the vehicle at that time constitutes 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..
This presumption may be overcome only if the registered owner states, under oath, 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.
If a friend or family member was driving the car do I need to pay the ticket?
No, you were not the driver.
If a friend or family member was driving the car should I give the court their name?
No, you have no obligation to do so in order to get the ticket dismissed. The city of Kirkland provides a form called a "Affidavit of Non Liability" available on www.violationinfo.com. This form has a blank that appears to require the Respondent to identify the "driver's name and address below." There is NO LAW that requires you to do this and the City of Kirkland form is intentionally designed to misinform the responding party.
See City of Kirkland Form below (I suggest you NOT use this form and have provided it for reference.)
What form should I use if I was not driving the vehicle in question?
See attached sample letter below: