Drivers racing through San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose could soon find speeding tickets delivered directly to their mailbox, after Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law giving the green light to speed cameras.
The speed cameras could be installed in the Bay Area as early as January and while there will be an initial grace period, eventually, fines could range from $50 to $500 and no officer will be needed to catch you in the act.
San Jose City Councilmember Pam Foley, chair of the Vision Zero Task Force working to reduce traffic fatalities, says she’s thrilled the program will now become a reality.
“I completely support this, completely support this program,” she said. “It’s another tool in our toolbox and will be for up our limited traffic enforcement with police officers and allow us to catch people speeding. This is the enforcement part.”
She says so far this year, 41 people have died in fatal accidents in San Jose, and in many of those crashes, speeding played a role.
While the exact locations of the speed cameras have not yet been determined, they must be installed in school zones, areas with high accident rates or where street racing is popular.
Here’s what you can expect moving forward:
- There will be a public information campaign 30 days before the program is implemented.
- Cities will announce where the cameras will be located.
- Only fixed cameras will be used. There will be no mobile radar.
- No facial recognition technology will be used
- Fines for violators can range from $50 to $500
- An appeals process will be available.
While the program will have restrictions on who can access the data, some civil liberties groups are concerned about privacy.
In a statement, Cat Brooks, the executive director of the Anti-Police Terror Project says expanding video surveillance in Oakland poses a serious risk to civil liberties, is a gross misallocation of public funds and will continue to disproportionately surveil low income, Black, and Brown communities.
But others argue the threat of a speeding ticket via camera may finally be enough to slow people down, change their behavior and possibly save lives.
Once the speed camera program is launched, suspected speeders will only be mailed warning notices for the first 60 days after that tickets and fines will be issued.
Source: NBC Bay Area