Proposed bill would bring speed cameras to California

Carlos Granda Image
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Proposed bill would bring speed cameras to California
The plan seeks to reduce speed-related accidents by installing speed cameras in school zones and in areas with a history of speeding.a

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Speed cameras could soon be installed in several Southern California cities including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale.

Under AB 645, speed cameras would be installed in school zones and in areas with a history of speed racing. State and city leaders spoke about proposed bill during a press conference on Tuesday.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding is a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities. A number of recent accidents in Southern California have been caused by street takeovers and speeding.

Earlier this year, a 13-year-old boy from Boyle Heights lost his leg after being struck by a motorcyclist while crossing the street.

READ ALSO | Boyle Heights community seeks justice, safer streets after 13-year-old boy loses leg in hit-and-run

"People are thinking if they go to their destination as quick as possible, but they don't realize their surroundings, so they're putting people's lives in danger," said Mora during an interview on Tuesday.

AB 645 would require the money garnered from fines to be spent on "traffic calming measures," and places performance metrics on cameras. Cameras that do not reduce traffic speed will be removed, according to officials.

"Unlike with getting a traditional speeding ticket, there's no points on your license," said Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who is sponsoring the legislation. "Under this program, your first ticket, assuming that you're not egregiously speeding, is a warning. After that, if you get a second ticket, that ticket starts at just $50."

The plan would have a provision to charge less for a ticket depending on income.

"I think that you probably do show your taxes and the court would be able to let you pay instead of $50, pay $25," said Friedman.

Jay Beeber with the National Motorists Association disapproves of the plan.

"Unfortunately, the hoops that those people would have to jump through would be so major that the $50 or $100 ticket would be less than all the time and effort and all the work that they would have to do," he said.

Years ago, there were red light cameras, but courts found problems, saying there was not proof that the driver violated the law, only the car. With the new plan, only the license plates would be recorded, not the driver.

Opponents said this would cause the same issues.

"The ticket goes to the registered owner of the vehicle, not the driver, so actually, somebody who might be a dangerous driver might not even be the person that was ticketed. It would just simply be the owner of the vehicle and there's no way to shift the blame to that person because there's not picture of who's driving and you have no way of knowing."

If approved, the program would go into effect on January 1, 2024. Other cities that would be impacted include San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.