A bill that for the first time in California history would authorize speed cameras on roadways in six selected cities passed both houses in Sacramento last week and is now on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature.
Assembly Bill 645, by principal author Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, represents the eighth attempt to bring speed cameras to California since 2005 and the first to make it all the way to the desk of the governor. Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 14 to sign the bill into law or veto it.
“We need new tools in our toolbox to stop traffic violence and the senseless loss of human life,” Friedman said in a statement. “I am confident the governor will sign AB 645 into law.”
While there’s no word from the governor’s office about which way he’s leaning, Friedman said many of the provisions in her bill are included in a report from the California State Transportation Agency’s “Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force.”
That report found that studies show roadway systems that try to slow down drivers “are an effective countermeasure to speeding” if they use cameras that automatically snap a picture of the car’s license plate and deliver a citation to the registered owner through the mail.
If signed, sending citations to speeding motorists without the presence of law enforcement would become legal in California for the first time. But the bill is a pilot, meaning only these six cities would get authorization: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.
Many of these cities have seen dramatic increases in traffic fatalities caused by speeders, and also caused by street takeovers and illegal street racing.
From 2005 to 2014, 112,580 Americans were killed in traffic collisions in which speeding was a factor, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Pedestrian deaths have increased 77% from 2010 to 2021 in the U.S., according to a Governors Highway Safety Association study.
Studies found that in California, Black pedestrians are 62% more likely to be killed by vehicles than white Californians. In L.A., Blacks account for 15% of all pedestrian deaths, but only 9% of the population.
Los Angeles had 312 traffic fatalities in 2022 — a record. According to analysis from Streets Are for Everyone (SAFE), a supporter of the bill, speed was the biggest factor in nearly one-third of all traffic collisions in L.A. every year since 2011. As of Aug. 26, L.A. has topped 200 traffic fatalities in 2023.
The six cities affected by Assembly Bill 645 asked to be included in the pilot program and are speaking out in favor to influence the governor’s decision and to start their own programs.
“Years of national research, the laws of physics, and common sense all point to an established fact about street safety: the faster people drive, the more dangerous and deadly our roads become,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in a statement. “Speed is the number one factor in crash severity.”
A person struck by a vehicle going 20 mph has a 5% …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment