This blog is part of the City's Let's Talk Public Safety Program

Feb 01

California's Speed Camera Pilot Program

Posted on February 1, 2024 at 8:23 AM by Deputy Aaron Scheller

Speeding Safety Speak Blog Header

Speeding isn’t just against the law; it’s a very dangerous driving behavior. In fact, speeding is a contributing factor for nearly one-third of the fatal vehicle cashes that happen every year. And yet, many drivers do it often without realizing.

When pulled over, speeding drivers provide a number of reasons for why they were going over the posted limit. These include running late, not being aware of the area’s speed limit, having a faulty speedometer, and trying to go with the flow of traffic. However, there’s no good reason to speed. Much like driving under the influence, speeding endangers everyone on the road.

Assembly Bill 645 - Speed Safety System Pilot Program

Among the new traffic safety laws that became effective on January 1, 2024 is Assembly Bill (AB) 645, which is intended to reduce speeding by allowing six major Cities in California to enforce speed limits and help catch and cite speeders using camera systems for a five-year pilot period. 

Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Glendale, and Long Beach are the six participating cities. The governing bodies of these Cities will be able to put up cameras on high-injury streets, in school zones, or on streets with a documented history of racing and sideshows. The cameras will record the vehicle information and the speed which is traveling. Any vehicle going 11 mph over the posted speed limit can be issued a citation, with the registered vehicle owners receiving the ticket by mail.

The goal of AB 645 is to discourage speeding which will consequently lead to a reduction in traffic collisions that result in serious injuries and fatalities. The premise makes sense – law enforcement cannot be on every street at all hours of the day; a program like this will send a clear message to drivers that if they drive at unsafe speed, it will cost them.

In the past, people have argued over the red-light traffic cameras that were put in many cities throughout California; some even calling them unconstitutional. However, the courts have upheld the contrary: In 2014’s People vs Goldsmith, the California’s appellate and Supreme courts determined the citations issued from the pictures and video were evidence enough to determine that the driver did commit a traffic violation.

Now, although AB 645 was passed in January, it will likely take months if not longer before the speed cameras are rolled out in the pilot cities. This is because the law requires Cities to follow specific steps before proceeding with camera installation, including a minimum of 30-days advance notice to the community and area drivers of the new cameras and prominent signage to advise drivers that they are approaching a speed camera.

Also, for the first 60 days that the cameras are activated, Cities will only be allowed to issue warnings to drivers who are speeding. After this grace period, the citations will become official.

In case you are wondering how much the speed camera tickets will be under AB 645, here are the set fines:

  • $50 for driving at a speed of 11 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. 
  • $100 for driving at a speed of 16 to 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. 
  • $200 for driving at a speed of 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
  • $500 for driving at a speed of 100 miles per hour or more.

As I said earlier, this is a five-year pilot program. If statistics show this program saves people from serious injury or death, and improves traffic safety in communities, you might find this type of program expanding throughout the state and country. It might be a good time to begin practicing safer driving because just you don’t see a police car, doesn’t mean you can’t be cited for going over the speed limit.

That’s it for this month’s blog. Please take a moment to check out the corresponding leaflet for more information.

Speeding_A Dangerous Driving Behavior