Slow Down California: Speeding Cameras Coming to Six Major Cities in California

Image attribution: By NovoaGlobal, CC BY-SA 4.0,

By Antonio Gutierrez

LOS ANGELES — On Friday October 13, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed order AB 645 into law, which enables cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Glendale, and Long Beach to install cameras to detect speeding drivers. 


The legislators’ proposed goal is to protect as many innocent lives as possible. They believe that with cameras monitoring the speed of drivers will lead to fewer accidents and fatalities. These cameras will act as a deterrent to speeding, and offer protection against reckless driving in areas without a police presence. The proposed cameras will take a picture of speeding drivers’ license plates, who will then get a citation in the mail.


Statistically, there isn’t much to argue about. According to data from Berkeley Safetrec, in collaboration with the California Office of Traffic Safety, “in 2016, a total of 29.1% of California’s 3,623 motor vehicle fatalities were speeding-related, and the state had the second-highest number of speeding-related fatalities in the nation.” These numbers are scary to the many Californians who, in line with Californian culture, commute by car.


The passing of this Bill marks the eighth time since 2005 that a bill involving speeding cameras has been proposed. This Bill allows cameras to be placed in six cities throughout California; San Jose, San Francisco, Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland. The bill will go into effect in the beginning of next year — when 33 cameras will be placed in the aforementioned cities — and will be implemented through January 2032. Cameras will have priority placement in school zones and high crash areas. After this testing period, the data will be assessed and legislation will be reevaluated before expanding throughout the rest of California.


Although drivers will not have points put onto their license for speeding in any of these camera zones, the tickets will not be cheap. The prices for speeding violations are as follows: fifty dollars for driving at a speed of 11 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. One hundred dollars for driving at a speed of 16 to 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Two hundred dollars for driving at a speed of 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. Five hundred dollars for driving at a speed of 100 miles per hour or more. The first citation that a driver receives will be a warning. The money from the tickets will go towards creating safer streets, but will not go towards the city’s general fund.

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    1. David Greenwald

      Kind of a weird argument for you to make. For what it’s worth, I agree with you. Establishment Democrats are not particularly strong on such issues. Then again, neither are Establishment Republicans – part of why I believe it’s a weird argument for YOU to make.

    2. Walter Shwe

      There are a few Republican-led states that should be included in Keith’s so-called police states.

      Communities in 18 states—Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington—and the District of Columbia operate speed cameras.,of%20Columbia%20operate%20speed%20cameras.

  1. Keith Olsen

    This is just the start, 33 cameras.  Of course King Newsom and his cronies are going to declare it a success and before long California will have speed cameras everywhere.

    1. Walter Shwe

      Newsom is no more a King than Republican governors in other states.

      It’s high time that excessive speeding be brought under control. Some drivers seem to think it’s a game to see how fast they can go and weave in and out of traffic without getting caught. There are not nearly enough CHP patrols to deter excessive speeders. Red light cameras are now widely accepted safety measures in many communities across the nation.

        1. Walter Shwe

          Florida (62 communities)


          Beverly Hills
          Citrus Heights
          Culver City
          Daly City
          Del Mar
          Elk Grove
          Garden Grove
          Los Alamitos
          Los Angeles County
          MRCA park roads
          Rancho Cordova
          Sacramento City
          Sacramento County
          San Francisco
          San Jose
          San Leandro
          Santa Monica Mountain Park stop signs
          Solana Beach
          West Hollywood

    1. David Greenwald

      There are so many different types of problems. 95 percent of vehicles speed, so is it going to nail everyone with a ticket? If not, how will it be calibrated. There are already laws against speed traps, this is a permanent speed trap potentially. Police officers don’t attempt to pull over everyone who speeds, but usually people who either exceed the speed limit by a significant amount or who exhibit other problems as well. An automatic camera has no such discretion. Redlight cameras were difficult to challenge, a speed camera would be impossible. Then there is the problem of low income people which gets into the notion of fines and fees and a whole other area of research. The potential of this to be so broad it could have a devastating impact on low income people.

      1. Walter Shwe

        I really don’t see what the big deal is. You can build in safeguards to ensure that only flagrant speeders that only go over 90 miles an hour for instance are ticketed. You can have human beings review every potential violation before tickets are sent out. Low income extreme speeders get what they deserve if they are caught. This is a real safety issue. If not, why do we even have speed limits? Some people will always test the limits of what they can get away with without suffering meaningful consequences. You see this phenomena with crime in general.

        1. David Greenwald

          The big problem is how to build in a safeguard. You should read the Justice Department’s report on Ferguson or ProPublica’s reporting on Chicago’s ticketing policy.

        2. Walter Shwe

          Cameras are used to ensure people pay their bridge and toll road tolls. 

          I am sure some people consider mandatory seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws to be intrusions on their rights. Those laws involve just the individuals in question, but excessive speeding puts everyone at risk, not just drivers going too fast.

          Ferguson involved racist cops. Under this law people would just be double checking the computers and cameras.

          Chicago involved a multi-level conspiracy to jack up ticket revenue. That could happen anywhere, but in reality it doesn’t. Parking tickets aren’t safety issues.

          1. David Greenwald

            “A ProPublica analysis found that traffic cameras in Chicago disproportionately ticket Black and Latino motorists. But city officials plan to stick with them — and other cities may adopt them too. ”


            “Parking, traffic camera and vehicle tickets generate millions of dollars in desperately needed cash each year for the City of Chicago. But for the working poor, and particularly for African Americans, paying for tickets can be difficult — opening the door to more fines and fees, and spiraling debt. Drivers who don’t pay what they owe face tough punishments from the city and state that threaten their livelihoods.”


            I have done a lot of work on fines and fees, even a $100 fine is potentially crippling to low income people. The typical speeding fine is four times that. Creating a system that catches more people is only going to exacerbate that – regardless of safeguards.

          2. Don Shor


            Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed two pilot programs to help low-income motorists cope with the city’s punitive vehicle-ticketing and debt-collection system. One halves the cost of the citations, the other offers debt relief.

            Lightfoot, who campaigned in part on a pledge to end what she has called the city’s “addiction” to fines and fees, also proposed forgiving some tickets when motorists come into compliance with the law, a solution some advocates have supported for years.

            Update, Nov. 4, 2021: The Chicago City Council approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s ticket debt reforms at its Oct. 27 meeting, as part of the city’s 2022 budget package. Under the ordinance, the programs will go into effect by March 31, 2022, and expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

          3. David Greenwald

            “After the change went into effect last March, racial disparities persisted, ProPublica found.”

            “Almost half of the tickets received by low-income residents end up incurring additional penalties”

            “Each year the city issues approximately 1 million camera tickets, about evenly split between the two types of infractions. In all, cameras have generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue since the first one was installed nearly two decades ago.”

            Primarily on the backs of the people least able to pay. I think there’s a word for that… regressive tax.

        3. Keith Olsen

          “A ProPublica analysis found that traffic cameras in Chicago disproportionately ticket Black and Latino motorists. But city officials plan to stick with them — and other cities may adopt them too. ”

          How is that, is the camera racist?  Or is it maybe that they break the traffic laws more?

          And how would you remedy that?  Only give tickets to white people?

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