SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California bill that would allow speed safety cameras to be piloted in a handful of California cities cleared a critical hurdle Thursday.
The California Legislature Appropriations Committee allowed AB 645 to pass to the Assembly floor for a vote for the first time, following several failed attempts.
California is one of a handful of states that currently restricts the use of speed safety cameras. If passed, AB 645 would allow automated cameras to manage speed in six California cities: Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach, Oakland and Glendale. The cameras would only be allowed in school zones, along high-injury corridors and in areas that have a history of street racing and sideshows.
Under California Vehicle Code Section 22352, speed limits in school zones are 25 miles per hour while the grounds are being used. Studies, however, have shown that two-thirds of drivers exceed the posted speed limit in a school zone during the 30-minute period before and after school.
AB 645 would set fines of $50, $100, $200 or $500 for individuals breaking the speed limit by 11 MPH, 16 MPH, 26 MPH or exceeding 100 MPH, with reduced penalties for individuals under the poverty line.
All revenue from the speeding fines is required to be spent on traffic calming improvements, such as road diets, speed humps and roundabouts.
Speed cameras can reduce crashes on city streets by 54%, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Almost a third of all traffic fatalities in the United States are because of speeding, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.