Motorists should slow down on city streets. Speed cameras are expected to catch drivers later this year in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach in an effort to curb the alarming rise in fatal car crashes, in which speed is often a factor.
A new law primarily authored by Rep. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and signed into law this year by Gov. Gavin Newsom allows the three Southern California cities, along with Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, to carry out the project camera pilot over five years. program around schools, high injury networks – the streets with the highest injury and death rates – and areas known as street racing corridors.
Horrific collisions have killed more people than non-vehicle homicides in Los Angeles this year, according to Police Department statistics. As of December 23, there have been 321 vehicle-related deaths and 323 homicides total, including some deaths caused by drivers. Advocates have long argued that road infrastructure such as wide streets designed only for cars encourage speeding and that many deaths can be avoided with better law enforcement.
“The sooner they implement this measure, the sooner we will start saving lives,” said Damian Kevitt, executive director of Streets Are for Everyone, a Los Angeles advocacy group that supported the legislation. “We know that speed cameras save lives and are effective tools in reducing serious injuries and deaths.”
Among those killed this year were 13-year-old Chris Amaya-Pineda and his 2-year-old brother Damian after a motorist sped through a red light on Main Street in South Los Angeles in January. In October, on the same street and a block away, Felipe Manuel Infante-Avalos, 15, was in the crosswalk at East 110th and Main streets on his way home from school when he was killed by a motorist.
That month in Malibu, four Pepperdine University students were killed by a driver going 100 mph. And on Thanksgiving, a driver suspected of being drunk and speeding more than 100 miles per hour crashed into a car with three women inside, killing a 24-year-old single mother – one of three people killed by speeding or by a drunk driver in South Los Angeles that day. alone.
“A lot of communities are asking for it because you know, their roads are very deadly, high speed, death traps, and they want these cameras. They want something that will help save lives,” Kevitt said.
During the first two months, drivers will receive warnings. After that, they will receive a warning if their first offense involves driving 11 to 15 mph above the speed limit. Above that threshold, they will be fined progressively higher depending on the speed they are clocked at, reaching $500 for speeds over 100 mph. Violations for speeding 11 to 15 mph over the limit – after the first warning – will cost $50. The revenue collected is supposed to be reinvested in the city to make the streets safer.
Los Angeles transportation officials are expected to recommend 125 locations for the speed cameras early next year, along with their policy, budget and design.
Before the cameras go up, the new law requires cities to create a policy defining what data can be collected, who can access it and how long it is retained. There is also a public review process.
“This program is about slowing traffic and saving lives,” Friedman said. “The New York program, once implemented, resulted in a 70% reduction in traffic crashes and deaths on high-speed corridors.”
California Daily Newspapers