The latest proposal to roll out speed-limit detection cameras in the largest California cities is picking up the pace in the state legislature, and drivers in Oakland, SF, and San Jose could get automated speeding tickets for going 11 or more miles per hour over the speed limit.
Lawmakers have been talking about putting up speed cameras for years, but right now in San Francisco, we mostly just have cameras catching drivers for running red lights and illegal right turns. The Sacramento Bee reported last week on a new bill before the state Assembly to put speed cameras in six California cities, and SF, Oakland, and San Jose would be among those cities, according to SFGate.
The bill is called AB-645, counts Assemblymember Phil Ting as a co-sponsor, and was co-authored by our own state Senator Scott Wiener, and Assemblymember Matt Haney. According to the full text of the legislation, "The speed safety system shall capture images of the rear license plate of vehicles that are traveling 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit and notices of violation shall only be issued to vehicles based on that evidence."
The cameras are automated, and the billing would also be entirely automated. Speeding fines would start at $50 for drivers photographed going 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, and would go up incrementally for higher speeds. Drivers would still have a review and appeals process available to dispute the speeding tickets.
Drivers would only get warnings for the first 60 days of the program, which would start January 1, 2024. The other California cities in this proposed five-year pilot program are Los Angeles, Glendale, and Long Beach.
But there have been multiple state-level attempts to pass such a law since 2017, all of them have failed. People who hate to see “cameras everywhere” could stir up some civil liberties arguments against them, and the decision of where to place the cameras could create complaints that certain communities are being unfairly targeted.
Pardon the pun, but this bill has still been speeding through the Assembly this year, having cleared five committee votes. According to SFGate, it has another hearing before the House Committee on Appropriations sometime after the Assembly’s summer recess ends August 15.
Image: Denny Müller via Unsplash