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FAQ

Police

How do I get a copy of a report?

Copies of Reports and Requests for Public Records

By Email: records.request@cityoffederalway.com

In Person:
Police Department
33325 8th Ave. S.
Federal Way, WA 98003

By Mail:
Civilian Operations Manager
Attn: Public Records Request
33325 8th Ave. S.
Federal Way, WA 98003

By Phone:
253.835.6700

By Fax:
253.835.6898

Police records are unique and are governed by multiple laws. Requests are reviewed to determine whether any of the requested information is exempt under other statutes.

Photo Enforcement Information

Is the law different in photo-enforced areas of Federal Way?

No. The law is the same at all intersections and in all school zones. Photo enforcement is simply a different method of enforcing the law.

What is the law at intersections regarding red lights?

If you are turning right, you must come to a complete stop before the stop line and you can then proceed with your turn if traffic is clear. A stop is defined as a “complete cessation from movement.” In other words, your vehicle cannot be moving at all. You must yield to other vehicles entering the intersection on a green light and vehicles making U-turns. If you are travelling straight through the intersection or turning left then you cannot pass the stop line after the light turns red.

What is the law in school zones?

The law varies depending upon what type of signage is present. Federal Way’s photo-enforced school zones use flashing yellow lights to signify the need to drive lower than the normal posted speed limit. The speed limit is reduced to 20 mph when the lights are flashing, regardless of whether children are present or not present.

Will a violation go on my driver’s record?

No. Photo enforcement tickets are treated the same as parking violations and will not appear on your driving record.

Why am I being cited as the registered owner of the vehicle?

The law provides a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner was the driver at the time the alleged violation occurred. Unlike some other states, Washington law prohibits a photograph of the driver. The type of presumption used in photo enforcement violations is the same type of presumption that has been used for parking violations for a number of years.

What if I was not driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation?

There is a presumption, provided by law, that the registered owner was the driver, but that presumption can be overcome with evidence that you were not driving at the time of the alleged violation. However, the judge is not required to believe you if there is some doubt about your credibility.

Am I required to name the person who was driving?

The law does not require you to name the other driver, but if you want to avoid a hearing then you can name the other driver in the Statement of Non-Responsibility provided to you with the Notice of Infraction. Otherwise, you need to request a hearing and present your testimony to the judge. The person who was driving may voluntarily accept responsibility.

What are the fines?

By law, fines cannot “exceed the amount of a fine issued for other parking infractions within the jurisdiction.” Parking fines in Federal Way can be as much as $250, with an additional $200 assessment. However, the fine for red light violations is only $124; the same amount charged if the citation was issued by an officer in your presence.

The fines in Federal Way for photo violations in school zones range from $210 to no more than $250 (excluding late fees). School zone violations issued by a police officer in your presence start at $210 and can be as high as $784.

Can the fine be reduced or waived?

Yes. You can request a mitigation hearing for all photo enforcement tickets and the judge can reduce the fine based upon the circumstances presented in your case. The fine will only be waived to prevent a gross injustice. By state law, the fine for school zone violations issued by a police officer in your presence cannot be waived, mitigated or reduced. However, photo enforcement fines in school zones can be waived, mitigated or reduced.