By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — One by one, various government bodies are giving their blessing to speed cameras in California cities.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission gave the green light for a test program that would snap photos of speeders in San Francisco and San Jose.

A KPIX 5-Survey USA poll shows most of the Bay Area is behind it, with 61 percent saying they support the speed cameras and 58 percent saying they think those cameras will help slow drivers down.

Jake Mackenzie, with Sonoma County Cities said, “There’s an endemic problem with speeding in the Bay Area.’

Nick Josefowitz, on the BART Board of Directors said, “I just want to make sure that for my family and for every family out there, that cars are not putting everyone in danger.”

Speed cameras are not to be confused with red light cameras.

Assembly Bill 342 would allow speed cameras to take a picture of your car in San Jose or San Francisco, going more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, and then send you a $100 ticket.

We asked San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo:  What do want to say to critics who say it’s just another money-making scheme?

Liccardo said, “The money won’t be coming back to the city. This is really about ensuring select corridors — we’ve identified 14 of them in the city — where we are seeing the highest rates of injury-related accidents and deaths.”

The cameras would only be installed in areas that have a documented history of crashes.

The 14 corridors make up just three percent of the roads, but account for 50 percent of fatal crashes in San Jose.

The pilot program would last for five years.

And the automated speeding ticket would not count against your driving record.

Still, for some it’s going to be a tough sell.

San Jose resident Judith Shipsted said, “They shouldn’t try to finance public works by trying to punish people for wrongdoing. We’ve already got enough cameras around this city.”

San Jose resident Joseph Tourino lost his license after getting half a dozen speeding tickets.

So we asked him: Would a speed camera make you slow down?

Tourino said, “Definitely. You’re forced with the consequence if you break the rules, which are in place for a reason.”

If the pilot program is successful it could go statewide.

Comments (3)
  1. There is no need for a “pilot program” when cities across the country have already tried automated speed ticketing and they have failed to improve safety. Officials can say what they want but these cameras are about making money, bribes, or padding budgets, or power for government officials.We know it’s not about safety because officials have ZERO traffic engineering studies for any high crash location indicating that automated ticketing would be one of the top solutions for improving safety at that location. Instead we have police and politicians making traffic engineering decisions rather than hiring true professional TEs to actually make the streets safer rather than CASHING IN on engineering deficiencies such as speed limits that are too low or road geometries, signage, and visibility problems that can be corrected.

  2. Chipotle is correct. This is not about safety, as there are many other measure that could be taken, as has been shown in many other places, if this was true. It is a simple means of revenue generation. Also, there should be more severe penalties to those who actually have proven to be a danger on the road by hitting others — who are often get by with ZERO penalties just because they were not speeding.

  3. My name is Shipstad, not Shipsted.