SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco wants to install speed cameras to catch drivers in an effort to make streets safer for pedestrians.
The SFMTA is drafting a proposal that would allow the agency to install the cameras near schools and other areas where pedestrian safety is an issue.
The plan would call for a flat fee of $100 per violation, while officer issued speeding tickets can cost up to four times that amount.
According to Walk SF, speeding drivers are the number one cause of traffic injuries in the city, and are responsible for ten times the number of pedestrian injuries than drunk drivers.
San Francisco Police are supporting the push.
“It will slow people down,” SFPD Spokesperson Officer Carlos Manfredi said.
The officers say the cameras can do much more than catch speeding drivers.
“It will also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby, and they happened to drive across a speed light camera. It will be able to capture a license plate, take a photo of this individual,” Manfredi said.
Supervisor Eric Mar is also in favors of the cameras, but knows it won’t be an easy sell.
“Whenever you change a culture of speeding and tickets are always a thorny issue for many people,” Mar said.
Drivers say it’s like playing a game of chess, “and you lose every time. Technology wins,” Jazmin Evans said.
Some drivers see the cameras as another cash cow for the Bay Area.
New York’s Daily News reported that speed cameras raked in $16.9 million for the city last year.
Numbers aside, one San Jose family says the cameras could save lives.
“A car is like a weapon,” Aileen Quiroz’s mother Elizabeth Chavez said.
One of those ‘weapons’ killed 7-year-old Aileen as she walked with her family in front of her school. Elizabeth says stronger enforcement, like speed cameras could make drivers think twice about their actions behind the wheel.
“You know that person had goals. That little girl, she had dreams, and because someone’s not paying attention, she’s not here to accomplish her dreams,” Chavez said.
SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.