A bill that would introduce speed safety cameras in six California cities, including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale, is now awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature or veto.
AB-645, which passed in both houses of the State Legislature this week, would allow speed cameras to be installed in school zones and in areas where people are prone to speeding.
“According to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding is a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities,” Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), one of the bill’s sponsors, told KTLA in July. “If we want to stop traffic fatalities and injuries, we’ve got to slow people down.”
The bill also targets speeders in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan explained his support.
“We need to invest in technology, education and continued enforcement, and this is part of the enforcement strategy to hold people accountable for following our traffic laws,” he said.
The speed cameras would photograph the license plates of drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in any given area. Those who are caught speeding would then get tickets in the mail.
While the aim is to make streets safer for drivers and pedestrians, some question the approach.
“So now what we’re basically doing is taxing the people that live in these communities to pay for traffic and road improvements that the government sort of hasn’t done,” said Tracy Rosenberg, the advocacy director of Oakland Privacy.
Rosenberg says cameras are a lazy approach to addressing the lack of proper infrastructure. She’s also concerned about personal information being stored by cities.
Mahan and other supporters say the speed cameras will not be invasive and will also not intentionally target low-income communities.
“It’s really about making sure people adhere to our traffic safety laws. Speeding can save a minute or two, but slowing down can save a life and we need to remind people of that and hold them accountable to following laws to keep our neighbors safe,” Mahan said.
When the cameras are installed, the pilot would last for about five years.
Newsom has until October 14 to sign the bill.