Enforcement of the most dangerous driving behaviors, including speeding, has plummeted
In May, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman submitted a letter to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) requesting a plan for how SFPD will restore traffic enforcement, which is at historically low levels. There’s been an astonishing 96.87% decline in traffic citations issued between 2014 and 2022 by the SFPD.
This decline includes citations for speeding, of which there were just 89 across the entire city in April 2023, the most recent month there is publicly available data. With speed as the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco, it’s unconscionable that things have gotten to this point.
SFPD needs to enforce dangerous speeds with enough frequency and visibility – and in the most impactful locations – to help shift driver behavior. That’s why Walk SF has echoed Supervisor Mandelman’s call, asking SFPD to be explicit about their priorities and plans for enforcing the most dangerous driving behaviors, especially speed.
I want to be clear: designing streets that reduce the likelihood of drivers going dangerous speeds in the first place is the most powerful, 24-7 approach to making San Francisco a ‘safe speeds city’ – not traffic enforcement (read more in our groundbreaking report). The most successful Vision Zero cities worldwide focus far more on safe street design than citations.
But we’ve spoken up in support of Supervisor Mandelman’s letter and we’re working to pass AB 645 to allow speed safety cameras for a reason. Every possible tool to reduce dangerous speeds is needed.
The stakes with speed are so incredibly high for pedestrians. The threat couldn’t be more real, and it’s rising as vehicles become even more powerful.
What’s next for holding SFPD accountable in their role in Vision Zero?
Supervisor Mandelman is holding hearing with SFPD on Thursday, September 28 at 10AM to hear the SFPD’s responses to his letter. You can attend, watch, and/or make public comment at this meeting. Here are the details for this public meeting of the Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee of the Board of Supervisors.
We’re grateful to Supervisor Mandelman for pushing for answers in support of Vision Zero.
Do you support Walk SF’s work to win solutions to address dangerous speeds? Donate now.