California’s Assembly’s Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee voted to pass AB 342 on Tuesday, April 18.
The legislation, authored by Assemblymember Chiu (SF) and co-sponsored by Assemblymember Chu (SJ), Senator Beall (SJ), and Senator Wiener (SF), would give San Francisco and San Jose the authority to pilot Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE), a widely used technology proven to reduce illegal speeding and prevent deadly crashes.
The bill now moves to the Assembly Transportation Committee for a hearing on Monday, April 24.
“This vote marks a critical step towards Vision Zero,” said Cathy DeLuca, Interim Executive Director of Walk San Francisco. “We thank AB 342’s author, Assemblymember Chiu, and all the co-sponsors for their leadership in the effort to end preventable traffic crashes. Now, elected leaders in the California Assembly Transportation Committee can put this life-saving tool to work by supporting AB 342.”
“Speed kills, but we can save lives on our streets with this proven technology,” said Assemblymember David Chiu. ”We know how to fix this crisis on our streets. It is time we take this important step to put an end to these senseless traffic fatalities. I appreciate the support of my colleagues in moving this bill forward.”
A Proven Tool
A recent comprehensive report by San Francisco’s Controller found that ASE is one of the most effective and easy-to-adopt tools to reduce unsafe speeds and cut traffic-related deaths. Cities with safety cameras report reductions in overall speeds, the percentage of speeding vehicles, and, over time, even the number of speeding citations issued. Most importantly, ASE consistently lowers the number of lives lost to traffic crashes.
Unsafe Speeds Take a Terrible Toll
Jorge Quiroz, a San Jose resident and member of San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, told the Privacy Committee how speed had changed his life forever.
“On May 14, 2013, my sister Elena was crossing the street in a school crosswalk in San Jose. She was holding the hands of my two daughters, AileenQ and Arlet, as they were walking to soccer practice from school. AileenQ loved to play soccer. She was only five years old, but she never made it home that day,” said Quiroz.
“A speeding driver ran over both my daughter and my sister Elena. Thankfully, Elena was able to push Arlet out of the way. Elena still stuffers from severe injuries, but she’s here with us today. But my daughter AileenQ was killed by that speeding driver. She will never play soccer again, and I will never see her again,” said Quiroz.
“In San Francisco, speed is the top factor in serious crashes, so we need to use tools that decrease speeds –– we need automated speed enforcement,” said San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee, Chair of the City’s Vision Zero Committee. “AB 342 has the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as well as dozens of local community groups. We can’t wait any longer. Lives hang in the balance.”
New Poll Shows Solid Support for Safety Cameras
An April 17 poll finds broad support for automated speed enforcement in San Francisco and San Jose. The poll, which was commissioned by Walk SF and administered by the national polling firm Public Policy Polling, found that 63 percent of residents support speed safety cameras on streets where speed has been linked to collisions, to allow the ticketing of drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 or more miles per hour. The poll also found that 57 percent of San Francisco and San Jose residents agree that excessive speeding is a problem in their community.
Since the introduction of AB 342, over one thousand signatures have been collected for Walk SF’s ASE petition, reinforcing the strong public support for adopting a life-saving solution.
“People want safe streets for their families, and it’s clear that the public supports automated speed enforcement,” added DeLuca. “The Assembly Transportation Committee can act now to approve AB 342. The sooner San Francisco and San Jose can start using this tool, the more lives we can save.”
Before noon, April 24, you can add your voice!