Circulate San Diego submitted a letter of support for AB 550, which would give the cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and one additional southern California city the option of piloting speed safety systems on sensitive or dangerous local streets.
Every year, hundreds of Californians die in speed-related crashes. Speeding is a major contributor to fatalities and serious injuries in crashes—if a driver traveling at 20 miles per hour hits a pedestrian, there is a 90 percent chance that pedestrian will survive. At 40 mph, the chance of survival drops to 20 percent. Nationwide, 112,580 people were killed in speeding-related incidents from 2005 to 2014.
Speed safety systems are an effective tool for reducing speeding, crashes, injuries and fatalities, but California law currently prohibits their use. Speed safety systems are automated systems that use cameras and radar to detect and identify speeding vehicles. These automated systems reduce the potential for racial bias in traffic enforcement. In addition, AB 550 includes clear guardrails to protect people’s privacy, including a ban on facial recognition technology. Citations under any pilot program will be civil in nature—not criminal—and will not result in a point on a driver’s record. The intent of the systems is to reduce speeding and increase safety, not to punish.
Speed safety systems can be a significant step in reducing traffic fatalities, protecting pedestrians and bicyclists, and shifting transportation mode share towards climate-friendly modes. Read the full letter here [pdf].