By Priscilla Hernandez
California Bill AB 645, will potentially create a vast increase in traffic because of the speed safety laws it would introduce. This bill will negatively impact many drivers.
On Sept. 20, the bill was enrolled and presented to Governor Gavin Newsom.
The bill proposes a speed safety pilot program. Passing the bill would make it a law that driving over 11 mph the posted speed limit would result in a violation.
It would also affect the six following cities: Los Angeles, Glendale, Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco.
The safety cameras would be installed on streets that are considered high-risk areas, such as school zones and streets that are commonly used for illegal street racing.
The price of the ticket would be based on how much over the posted speed limit. This is a concept of what the tickets could be, $50 for 11-15 mph over the limit, $100 for 16-25 mph and $200 for 26 mph. The faster the driver is going, the higher the fine. Despite being caught speeding, drivers would only get a ticket. There wouldn’t be a point put on a person’s license.
Assemblymember Laura Friedman said, “Speed cameras are about slowing drivers down and saving lives, not punishment.”
For those who commute to school and work, passing this bill would be a punishment.
Drivers will slow down, not to be more careful but so they don’t risk getting a ticket, even if it means driving below the posted speed limit.
The amount of traffic during rush hour time already makes what would be a 25 minute commute into almost an hour commute and sitting in traffic would only get worse.
The bill essentially is a scare tactic to make drivers feel uneasy going even a bit over the speed limit, especially if they don’t have extra funds that would help them pay for the ticket.
This could cause people to become more anxious behind-the-wheel as well.
It would also create confusion to drivers in areas that are school zones. This could be confusing to the driver because the speed limit of a school zone is 25 mph when children are present. Anytime there are no children present, the area does become a 35 mph limit. It could confuse drivers on how fast they’re able to go because how would the camera know about the speed limit change.
Driving anxiously is also driving unsafely.
Driving faster than the posted speed limit also doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the driver is being reckless.
There are many reasons as to why people drive over the speed limit, such as urgent emergencies where if being able to speed is available the driver can take full advantage of it.
It would be unimaginable if a family had to pay a fine for speeding when the streets were empty because someone had to be rushed to the hospital.
There are circumstances that these cameras will not be able to comprehend, which will cause major problems.
Trying to resolve the problem seems to be creating more potential problems.
It is possible that there could be an increase in vehicle collisions if people are driving slower to avoid a ticket. Drivers may also not have enough time to brake and slow down when behind another driver which can result in a rear end collision having speed cameras in the first place.
The cameras will be similarly placed as the red light cameras that most cities already have. Since drivers will eventually learn the placements of the camera, there is nothing stopping them from speeding and then slowing down before the camera senses it.
Over time drivers will find loopholes to avoid tickets.
A flaw with this system is that the cameras could be inconsistent, where as police officers have the ability to comprehend the situation in a dynamic way, unlike cameras.
Passing California Bill AB 645 is essentially doing more harm than good.