Speed camera bill in California heads to Newsom for approval

A bill that would set up a pilot program in six California cities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, that would ticket speeding drivers through the use of speed cameras instead of police officers, is headed to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk for approval. 

AB-645 would authorize all the pilot cities - LA, Long Beach, Glendale, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose - to set up speed cameras to issue automatic tickets for drivers going at least 11 mph over the speed limit. 

The cameras would be prioritized in areas around schools, high-injury intersections, and known street racing corridors, to reduce speeding and traffic fatalities.

Civil penalties would be $50, $100, $200 or $500 for exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph, 16 mph, 26 mph and over 100 mph. 

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The first violation notice would be a warning.

The pilot program would last five years and then be assessed. 


A speed camera is shown on August 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Smith/VIEWpress)

If the program is successful in the pilot cities, it could be expanded throughout California.

Revenue from speeding tickets will be used toward engineering, safer streets, and infrastructure. 

According to the NTSB, from 2005 to 2014, more than 112,000 people died in a crash involving speed. 

Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who co-authored the bill, said these new tools are needed to "stop traffic violence and the senseless loss of human life." 

"Every single one of those lives is a person, a person that should have made it home from their commute and never did. We all know one of them or of one them. This bill passed the California Assembly with bipartisan support because this cannot continue," she said.

Los Angeles saw a record 312 fatalities in 2022. According to a report from Streets Are For Everyone, speed has been the single largest factor for all traffic collisions in Los Angeles every year since before 2011.

Data from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health revealed traffic deaths are the leading cause of death of people under the age of 30.

Speed cameras are used in more than 150 cities elsewhere in the U.S. In New York City, data showed a 73% reduction in speeding, and worldwide, countries including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand found crash reductions ranging from 5 to 69%.


Cars drive near a speed camera on August 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Smith/VIEWpress)

"Years of national research, the laws of physics, and common sense all point to an established fact about street safety: the faster people drive, the more dangerous and deadly our roads become," said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. "Speed is the number one factor in crash severity. Nationwide, 112,580 people were killed in speeding-related incidents from 2005 to 2014. These deaths and injuries are preventable."