New fines for motorists passing school buses illegally | City briefs

City news in Mercer Island.

City news in Mercer Island.

Register for Parks and Recreation programs Monday

Check out Mercer Island Parks and Recreations’s new Fall/Winter Recreation Guide online at Online registration begins Monday, Aug. 22 and phone-in/walk-in registration begins Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The city has a new web name for online registration; the old online registration system,, will no longer be used.

Go to to register for classes, using your same log-in and password, and call the customer service staff at 206-275-7609 with any questions.

Enjoy a movie in the park Saturday

The city will show “The Good Dinosaur” for free at 8:34 p.m. on Saturday at Mercerdale Park on a giant inflatable screen.

Participants should bring blankets, lawn chairs and flashlights. Fun activities and crafts related to the movie will begin an hour before show time. Refreshments are sold on site. For more information, visit

Mercer Island earns workplace recycling and waste award for third year

For the third year in a row, the city operations of Mercer Island have been named to King County’s annual list of workplaces with exemplary waste prevention and recycling programs. Each spring, employers in King County (outside of the city of Seattle) are invited to apply for recognition as a Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling.

This year, King County’s Solid Waste Division has named 112 locations — including the city of Mercer Island — to its 10th annual list of Best Workplaces.

The 2016 list spans a wide array of employers, from education to transportation to local government. Each of the 2016 Best Workplace employers listed has shown exceptional commitment to recycling and reducing the amount of waste their organization sends to the landfill. Collectively, their actions help reduce the impacts of climate change and feed recycled materials back into the economy.

Learn more at

New fines for motorists passing school buses illegally

At its June 20 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance allowing the installation of cameras on school bus stop arms in order to deter illegal passing by private vehicles.

Under the plan, cameras would be installed on the stop arms of five school buses, and a citation would cost violators a fine of $394. Of that amount, the school district receives $299 to fund school zone safety projects, a processing fee of $69 is sent to the vendor (American Traffic Solutions), $21 will cover municipal overhead and $5 covers the MIPD’s law enforcement cost.

Every school day in the United States, more than 70,000 motorists illegally pass school buses as they stop to let students on and off. This inexcusable behavior endangers the lives of children, many of whom aren’t yet as observant as adults.

The Crossing Guard safety solution mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of each school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction, and captures video of the violation as well as still images of a vehicle’s license plate. The violation video and license plate images will be reviewed by the MIPD for approval prior to a citation being issued.

Both the city and the Mercer Island School District have launched a public information campaign, and the camera system will go online at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, with no grace period for early violators.

Contact MIPD Commander David Jokinen by email at with questions.