California Legislature

State Bill Calls for Cameras to Crack Down on Speeding, Sideshows

Lawmakers from SF, Southern California propose pilot program to make problem roadways safer

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A Bay Area lawmaker wants to give communities one more way to crack down on speeding and sideshows with the use of "speed safety cameras" in problem areas.

The proposal by assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) would place cameras along roadways prone to speeding, traffic collisions and sideshows in the Bay Area's biggest cities as part of a pilot program to start.

The aim is to get drivers to pump the brakes in the name of public safety.

"You wouldn’t get a ticket for going 3-4 miles over the speed limit; you’d have to be going much faster than that," Friedman said.

The speed safety cameras initially would be installed along roadways in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and other California cities where speeding and sideshows are a problem.

Sixteen people have died in crashes in San Jose already this year. Two have died in San Francisco and five in Oakland.

Assembly Bill 2336 calls for cameras that would capture images of license plates, not drivers, for citations, similar to the way parking tickets work.

When New York City implemented a similar plan, there was a 63% drop in speeding around school zones.

"That is not meant to be punitive, not meant to generate revenue," Friedman said. "It's meant to slow down cars in areas that are already dangerous, and these cameras can only be used in high injury networks or in areas that have particularly vulnerable populations, like around schools."

Under the proposal, fines vary depending on the offender's income, and any revenue would fund traffic and safety improvements in the same area where it is collected.

Once the ticket is paid or dropped, all license plate images must be deleted within 60 days.

If the bill passes, San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland would be part of the pilot program for five years.

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