Southern California might be known for its fast and furious drivers, but after Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation into law authorizing a speed-camera pilot program, those with the need for speed might want to think twice before pushing the pedal to the metal.
Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach are three of the six cities where the cameras are slated to go up and supporters of the safety cameras believe they will save lives.
SoCal driver Isaac Nikko told KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo that he thinks the cameras will definitely slow him down.
“I think it’ll stop me from speeding so much,” he said, “and help save lives.”
Others, though, told KTLA that they believe there are better ways to spend taxpayer money that don’t include installing speed cameras everywhere.
The pilot program will require community support before cameras are installed on surface streets that are prone to high-injury traffic collisions, street racing corridors and school zones.
“I think in school zones it makes a lot of sense, but in Virginia, we have these cameras as well,” Virginia resident Maleek Jamal said. “So, I think limited usage might make sense.”
The safety cameras will automatically ticket drivers exceeding the posted speed limit by 11 miles per hour, though it will be different than traditional speed enforcement.
A first offense will come with a warning, while a second offense will cost $50, but won’t add points against your driving record. As for low-income drivers caught speeding for a second time, they will only pay a $25 fine.
“Speed is by far the largest reason why people are being hit and killed on our streets in Los Angeles,” Damian Kevitt, the executive director of Streets are for Everyone, told KTLA. “We have an increasing problem of traffic violence. We have an increasing number of people who are dying or being seriously injured. You see it on the news every night. It requires signage ahead of the cameras that show that this is an area where if you don’t slow down, you’re going to get a ticket. This is not a gotcha sort of thing. This is a deterrent. It’s a way to say, ‘Hey, people, slow down.’”
A similar program launched in New York City reduced speeding by 73%, officials said.
While the new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, the cameras are not expected to be in place until next summer.