Safety for pedestrians and cyclists covered by the legislation – Capitol Weekly | Capitol Weekly
A sustained effort by pedestrian and cycling advocates would set up experimental programs in several cities in California to get drivers to obey the rules of the road, in part through the use of red lights and speed cameras.
More … than 3,700 people have died in traffic crashes in California last year most were for passenger cars, while others were for motorcycles and light trucks. But while deaths from vehicle crashes have generally stabilized, pedestrian deaths have increased.
“I’m sick of going to memorials and hearing about another person being killed because a driver was accelerating.” – David Chiu,
In 2018, 893 pedestrians were killed on California roads, a 26% increase over four years, and in 2018 alone, more than 14,000 pedestrians were injured. About 7,500 pedestrians were killed in the decade after 2009.
The legislation would put in place six five-year programs in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and two other cities – to be specified – in southern California. The effort, which does not use facial recognition software, targets areas at high risk of injury and school areas.
“I am tired of attending memorials and hearing about another person being killed because a driver was driving at high speed,” said MP David Chiu, author of the bill, AB 55o, when ‘he introduced the legislation.
“At some point, it must be said that enough is enough. These deaths are completely preventable. We have the tools to save lives. This bill will allow us to use proven security tools and put an end to these senseless deaths. “
Citations would be issued, although violations would not result in points on a driver’s DMV record.
Bill faces an uphill battle.
It was presented in February and went to the Transport Committee, where it was amended, and later to the Appropriations Committee, where it took place. He did not reach the floor of the Assembly.
Four years ago, Chiu drafted the red light camera legislation, AB 342, but withdrew the measure after failing to gain support.
According to the latest version of the bill, the programs would be under the jurisdiction of local transport agencies working with Caltrans, with guidelines to be in place by July 2022. Equipment to be used is not specified, but would likely include include video, cameras, radar and laser devices, according to legislative analysis.
Driver data collected under the program would be confidential. Citations would be issued, although violations would not result in points on a driver’s DMV record.
Penalty amounts were capped at $ 50 for violations 11-15 mph above the limit, $ 100 for violations 15-25 mph above and $ 200 for violations 25 mph above limit displayed. Vehicles traveling at 100 mph or more will be fined $ 500.
“We cannot build safe streets through punitive measures like fines, nor through power and domination like community surveillance. “- Californian walks
The penalties are civil and not criminal, and the money collected under the program would be allocated to widened cycle paths, median islands, border extensions and other “calming” projects.
“The bill requires pilot programs to put in place strong privacy protections, including a ban on facial recognition software. Data from a speed security system may not be used for any other purpose or shared with any other entity, except in response to a court order or subpoena ”, according to Chiu’s staff in StreetsBlogSF.
Funders include advocacy groups WalkSF and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a number of cities, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Opponents include the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, California Walks and the Western States Trucking Association.
“We cannot build safe streets by punitive measures like ticketing, nor by power and domination like community surveillance,” wrote Californian walks, an advocacy group that includes walking and cycling enthusiasts. “As Californians and statewide advocates, we must all work to promote local and state policies that are people-friendly, equitable, and protect our most vulnerable road users. “
Editor’s Note: Eric Furth is a Capitol Weekly intern at UC Berkeley.