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We need to pass AB 550

Dangerous speeds have no place on our streets

In San Francisco and statewide, speed is the #1 cause of severe and fatal traffic crashes. More than 1,000 Californians have died in speed-related traffic crashes every year for the past five years, and many thousands more severely injured. And the threat is growing. The rise of dangerous speeds is attributed for the huge spike in traffic deaths in 2020.

Pedestrians are especially at risk when drivers go dangerous speeds. A person struck by a driver traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a person struck by a driver going 25 MPH. The risk of death increases dramatically between 20MPH and 40MPH, as illustrated below. And of people walking, those who are the most at risk of being hurt or killed are children, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, and low-income people.

AB 550 would allow new tools to slow our streets

On March 16, 2021, Assemblymember David Chiu introduced Assembly Bill 550 (AB 550). Walk San Francisco is an official sponsor of this legislation to allow the use of speed safety systems in California cities.

Other cities in the United States have already embraced speed detection technology. Speed safety systems dramatically shift driver behavior and can reduce the number of severe and fatal crashes by as much as 58%. We desperately need more tools to better protect communities and save lives here in California cities, which is why AB 550 is so important right now.

Passing AB 550 means that cities including San Francisco can finally pilot speed safety systems on the busiest streets with the highest crash rates.

AB 550 is a thoughtfully-written bill that builds in a stakeholder process to create equitable program guidelines that protect privacy, ban any facial recognition, and make any citations civil (not criminal), and cap any fines at $125 max. Jurisdictions must also offer diversion options for low-income drivers unable to pay the full fine.

Read more about AB 550 and watch the press conference announcing the bill. You can also read the bill text which will soon have these amendments.

How you can help our campaign succeed

  • If you’re part of a neighborhood, community-based, or civic organization that wants to help #PassAB550, here’s how to make your support official by April 20. The sooner the better, as the first hearing for AB 550 is on April 26. NOTE: San Francisco-based groups are invited to sign onto the Vision Zero Coalition letter.
  • If you want to call in to the April 26 hearing to share your support of AB 550, get the details and RSVP.
  • Our campaign to #PassAB550 is a huge step for Walk SF. This is the first time we’ve ever sponsored state legislation, and it’s a big undertaking for a small organization like us. We need to raise funds quickly to bring on additional staff to build statewide support and boost our presence in Sacramento so we can win! Donate to #PassAB550.

Thank you for making our campaign happen! Stay tuned for what’s next with the #PassAB550 campaign (be sure you get our newsletter). Questions? Contact info@walksf.org.

Banner image: Michael Halberstadt