California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 645 on October 13, bringing speed enforcement cameras to six different cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s a move we expect will be quite controversial as speed cameras are used in some parts of the country and have been outlawed elsewhere.
Watch an Idaho cop shoot out a fleeing murder suspect’s tires.
A pilot program is being launched under the law with six cities participating: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Long Beach, Glendale, and San Jose. This means only a few cameras will be put up in those cities, with photos of offenders taken and tickets sent by mail to the car owner’s address.
People will get a warning first, then tickets begin at $50 and increase from there. But don’t worry, if you’re a low-income individual you can get the fines waived or cut by up to 80%.
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Burbank, who authored the bill that’s now law is quoted by ABC 7 as saying, "Slowing cars is imperative to saving lives."
That claim is made constantly by so many without anyone giving it a second thought. We hear the mantra “speed kills” repeated mindlessly. While speed certainly makes the impact forces of an accident worse, one can’t help but wonder why so much emphasis is put on speeding and not driver distraction, road rage, or other driving behaviors which contribute to actual recklessness.
But we digress, because speed enforcement cameras are most definitely worth it “if they save even one life.” After all, Friedman told reporters that speed-related crashes aren’t “accidents” because they’re “preventable.” Really think about that for a moment and let us know if you follow the logic, because mostly what we’re catching is emotion.
She also made the argument that because New York City is using speed cameras and a study found speeding dropped dramatically it’s the right thing to do. We also know traffic cameras in NYC have been used to crack down on people with modified exhausts, so these sorts of programs are great for all kinds of government monitoring. Just remember the old authoritarian line of logic: if you aren’t doing anything wrong you shouldn’t be afraid of these increasing government powers.
Mark our words: this won’t stop at just speed enforcement cameras. This quest to stop all accidents or even just fatalities on roads usually ends with restricting your freedom to travel how and where you see fit, with such rights granted again when everything is safe. But when it’s safe enough will be never.
Image via IIHS