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Speed Camera Program Piloting in California

Posted by Sara Cooper | Oct 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

Throughout California, automated speeding cameras will be of us in a pilot program under a new bill that was passed by Governor Newsom.

According to sources, traffic fatalities are caused by speeding, up to 31 percent. With the cameras, it can reduce speeding in an effective manner, with prior success in New York City's speed camera program.

“For too long, we have referred to most of these deaths as “accidents” to sweep under the rug the uncomfortable truth: these deaths are preventable,” said AB 645 author Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Burbank. “Slowing cars down is imperative to saving lives.”

Here is more information from The Center Square: “The bill creates a $25 fee for challenging violations under the pilot program in court, under which vehicles traveling between 11 and 15 miles per hour over the speed limit will receive a warning, with $50 for the second violation between 11 and 15 miles per hour over, and a flat $100 for going 16 to 25 miles per hour over, $200 for going 26 miles per hour over, and $500 for going 100 miles per hour or more. However, there will be no fee for an initial review, which the relevant local agency must complete within 60 days. If the agency decides not to overturn the violation, an administrative hearing may be pursued and must be held within 90 days of the request for an administrative hearing. If someone wishes to challenge the outcome of the administrative hearing, he or she may then appeal to court within 15 days.”

There are concerns from motorist groups in regards to surveillance and the impact of a civilian's privacy for the reason of reducing speed.

“AB 645 subjects Californians to increased surveillance and perpetuates the false notion that this surveillance benefits the communities that are surveilled. The need for enforcement of speed limits does not warrant the creation of a new mechanism for government collection of large amounts of data on Californians,” wrote the National Motorist Association in opposition to the bill. “There are effective alternatives to reduce speed-based traffic collisions without these harmful impacts, including those highlighted in the bill itself: roundabouts, speed humps or speed tables, traffic circles, and other traffic-calming measures that do not require increasing surveillance to automate enforcement and issue more tickets."

Fines are also based on income level. 

According to The Center Square, “The bill also sets limits on the number of systems that may be deployed within any jurisdiction depending on the size of its population. Jurisdictions with over three million residents can have up to 125 speed cameras, those between 800,001 and 3 million 33 cameras, 300,000 and 800,000 18 cameras, and under 300,000 up to 9 cameras.”

The cameras also must be position in areas that are both “geographically and socioeconomically diverse” in order to prevent discrimination from policing.

The pilot program will run until 2032 when reauthorization is necessary.

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