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.