By Los Angeles speeding accident attorney Michael Ehline, Esq. The answer depends on who is providing the data, as will be discussed. After losing three Pepperdine University Students on PCH and Malibu last week, speeding driver cameras have become a topic of heated debate in the Golden State. Germany has used them since the 80s, as well as other locations worldwide. But in the USA, privacy and liberty are at the heart of our Republic.
But as freedom erodes in favor of popular culture, more European ways are coming to America. In California, it has become common practice to use an exception to create a rule that will affect the majority, typically in a way that lowers their income. California always seems to have a knee-jerk reaction that if we can only punish law-abiding people and restrict their rights, crime and serious injuries will stop. If only we pass another law, we can save lives, stop speeding, and maybe thwart hit-and-runs.
California’s AG and many local prosecutors seem to have a policy of not prosecuting or reporting many violent crimes and arrests, thereby making it appear there is less crime. But they certainly get upset when we film police. according to many natives. As you will recall, at least one judge said speed limit cameras were unconstitutional, but money, pundits assert, always wins.
Drivers in three Southern California cities, namely Glendale, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, along with Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco, may soon receive speeding tickets by mail. This is because Governor Gavin Newsom approved AB 645. Supporters said this bill permits the installation of speed cameras in school zones and high-injury streets with so-called “speeding” issues. These cameras will apparently capture the vehicle’s license plate and NOT the driver. Cities from Burbank all the way to San Francisco could be affected.
Will The Safety They Provide Be Better than the Freedom to Drive Freely?
On its face, the state seems to be looking for ways to reduce traffic fatalities and improve road safety. But cash-strapped California has seen many income earners and businesses fleeing its “anti-parent,” “woke” policies. The people left behind are relying on reparations or some other tax subsidy, which is why many voted for Newsom to begin with.
On the side of more laws, “we have a public health crisis on our roads due to speeding,” according to safety advocate Damian Kevitt, executive director of the Nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE).
Either way, there is a profit motive and a nonprofit motive. In both scenarios, the campaign funding keeps flowing, and more laws are passed to govern your freedom of movement.
ACLU and Other Human Rights Groups Oppose the Draconian Revenue Generation Scheme?
Yes, American Civil Liberties Union California Action, Anti Police-Terror Project, Black Lives Matter CA, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, National Motorists Association, Oakland Privacy, Oakland Rising, Restore Oakland, Inc., Safer Streets LA and Youth Together respectfully request that you veto AB 645, which would cost California tens of millions while putting marginalized communities “needlessly at risk.” https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/09/15/letter-governor-newsom-requesting-he-veto-ab-645“
“The minimum penalty for running a red light in California is $100. Add on approximately $400 in mandatory fees, and you could receive a ticket for $500 or more based on red light camera evidence.” https://getjerry.com/advice/california-red-light-camera#are-red-light-cameras-legal-in-california
We shall see whether taking away even more freedom from travelers in marginalized areas will see more freedom-minded Californians leave for Florida or Texas. In exploring the world of speed-monitoring devices, we will seek answers on how effective these cameras might be at reducing deadly car accidents throughout California. Are they beneficial or just another problem?
- The partnership between billion-dollar corporations and California supermajority politicians has likely set the framework for less personal freedom in the interests of safety. (“Let no crisis go to waste” – Rahm Emanuel.)
- California’s speed camera legislation is being implemented to reduce traffic fatalities, with alleged proven success in reducing speeding-related deaths by up to 54% (according to the companies funding the studies, which also have agents inside the government.).
- The program aims to protect pedestrians and cyclists while addressing privacy concerns through proper regulation.
- Public opinion and bipartisan support are essential for successfully implementing the law providing education and deterrence for first-time offenders.
What is the Speeding Statute in CA
California’s California Vehicle Code Section 22350 states:
“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
In other words, generally, you must drive at a safe speed for the conditions and circumstances on the road. Speed limits on California roads are not intended to be hard and fast rules. However, all drivers must adhere to the posted speed limits if it’s SAFE for road users and families.
What is the Difference Between a Speed Cam and a Red Light Cam?
Speed cameras and red light cameras are two distinct types of traffic enforcement cameras with different purposes:
- Speed Cameras:
- Purpose: Speed cameras are primarily used to monitor and enforce road speed limits. They capture images or record videos of vehicles that are exceeding the posted speed limit.
- Operation: Speed cameras use various technologies, including radar, laser, or induction loops, to measure a vehicle’s speed. When a vehicle is detected speeding, the camera captures a photo or video of the vehicle, usually showing the license plate.
- Enforcement: The data collected by speed cameras is used to issue speeding tickets to the vehicle’s owner. The driver is typically not identified in these photos since the violation is associated with the vehicle’s registered owner.
- Red Light Cameras:
- Purpose: Red light cameras are designed to monitor and enforce traffic signal compliance, specifically at intersections with traffic lights. They capture violations where vehicles run red lights.
- Operation: Red light cameras use sensors to detect when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red. They capture images or videos of the violating vehicle, including its license plate.
- Enforcement: Violations captured by red light cameras result in tickets issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. The driver may be identified, mainly if the camera system includes images or video footage.
Speed cameras and red light cameras are both utilized for traffic enforcement. While speed-detecting devices identify drivers that go beyond the set speed, camera systems at intersections record motorists who run a red signal. The main goal of these two technologies is to create safer roads and cut down on accidents in New York City.
Industry Studies have shown positive outcomes from speed cams: speeding has purportedly been reduced by 63% near school zones. Officials say fatalities caused by vehicles decreased significantly. They claim overall road safety improved substantially following their installation. The argument is that penalties enforced by intersection-based digital eyes save lives.
All things considered, it can be concluded that putting up more efficient surveillance, such as monitoring speeds, would lead to better driving habits, whether it will make California cities much safer places to live when applied from NYC’s perspective. Just because results appear satisfactory, that doesn’t mean it will be here. This article is designed to highlight speed limit cams, especially in Los Angeles.
Corporations Selling Speed Cameras Also Fund Elections?
Yes, like Pharma CEOs can intermittently control the FDA and CDC using revolving door employment and billions in campaign funding, the corporations selling the speeding driver cameras are all using the same business [lobbying] model, and they share data.
“Not collecting the information in the first place is the only way to ensure this information is not improperly shared.” https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/09/15/letter-governor-newsom-requesting-he-veto-ab-645
We have seen the same thing happen with private prisons. As our readers will recall, corrupt judges have been caught keeping private prisons full of innocent people. We have seen the same thing with Child Protective Services workers, corrupt courts, and school teachers stealing children from parents and even trying to groom children sexually in the LAUSD system. GenXers and Boomers from New York and California complain it used to be Republicans mainly doing smoke-filled room deals, with Democrats standing up for the little guys.
Republican Vito Fossella called the school zone speed cameras “a money grab for the city.”
But since the left has obtained power, they seem to receive most of their funding from billion-dollar corporations in robotics, pharma, electric cars, private prisons, and now speed limit cameras. Public employees like teachers and tax-funded health care providers are the main funders of Newsom and the Democrats. In fact, politicians are even giving many private companies like speed camera makers a piece of the action.
You can look at the CEOs and employees of companies pushing for wage increases and automated revenue generation machines like traffic cams in Southern California cities here.
Here are the corporations who may be donating the campaign funding with a profit motive to fleece drivers.
American Traffic Solutions, Inc., aka Vera Mobility
This Arizona-based company markets itself as a prominent provider of technology-driven solutions for Road Safety Camera operations. However, approximately one-third of the company is owned by Goldman Sachs, and they claim a significant share of up to 86% of the profits generated by their red light cameras. Critics argue that ATS, Inc. is amassing wealth at the expense of the municipalities they serve, which often struggle to break even after covering expenses.
ATS, Inc. recently made headlines due to a joint lawsuit filed against them and the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, questioning the constitutionality of their traffic cameras. The case ultimately ruled in favor of ATS. Presently, ATS supplies over 3,000 red light cameras to 28 states and some parts of Canada.
They “…work with government customers (municipalities and school districts) by installing leading photo enforcement technology to impact driver behavior and enhance road safety positively. These include red light, speed, school bus stop arm, and bus lane cameras.” https://www.verramobility.com/about/
Vera even has an anti-bribery/anti-corruption policy, which makes sense, as there is an apparent conflict of interest when people funding politicians and getting taxpayer money are responsible for enforcing traffic revenue laws.
Redflex Traffic Systems
Redflex, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is the second-largest provider of red light cameras, following ATS, Inc., with over 2,000 of these devices installed in cities throughout the United States and Canada. In 2011, their revenues exceeded $92 million, and the company retains as much as 88% of the funds generated from traffic violations captured by their equipment.
The company gained notoriety due to a recent controversy in Cary, North Carolina, where it was revealed that a single intersection had reported 31 false violations. Consequently, the city terminated its contract with Redflex.
Affiliated Computer Services
This former Fortune 500 Company, a subsidiary of the Xerox Corporation, is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has a global presence, operating in more than 100 countries. With annual revenue in the billions, it faced scrutiny in 2005 when the SEC investigated unethical business practices under the leadership of its former CEO, Mark King, and CFO, Warren Edwards, who resigned.
In 2010, the company was acquired by Xerox, and it now specializes in supplying red light cameras to cities throughout North America through its Transportation Solutions Group.
Only 20% Goes to the People?
It’s the profit motive that has the anti-camera and citizen’s rights groups up in arms.
“Many members of the general public assume that the cameras are property of the locality in which they are used and that the funds received go back into the community. The truth is that less than 20% goes to the municipality while the remaining goes to the service provider… suspicious of studies purporting to show wide public support of red light cameras, as these studies are largely funded by the service providers themselves.” https://worldjusticeproject.org/news/3-private-companies-making-money-red-light-tickets
Now that speed limit cameras are legal [with help from politicians receiving campaign funding from these private cartels], California Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to implement them in Southern California has been met with both approval and opposition. Civil Libertarians are voting with their feet. Academics and pensioners are thrilled over the additional restrictions on personal freedom.
The main issue citizens have is that we have figured out that large corporations also receiving tax subsidies dictate what is safe to their minions inside the DOT and other revolving-door government agencies that see CEOs moving back and forth from administrative government to billion-dollar corporations.
Understanding Speed Camera Legislation in California
Speed cameras are being piloted across six cities in California, including Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco. Reactions to this technology differ; for example, Cindi Enamorado is confident that it will reduce traffic fatalities, while Jay Beeber considers the deployment of speed enforcement cameras an ineffective method of generating revenue. Actual people mainly funded a review of whether installing speed driver cameras can bring advantages with a profit motive. You must be a critical thinker and never take the government’s word for it, as money corrupts, and it’s our job to keep politicians honest.
However, reducing speeding-related deaths appears to be an imperative objective or pretext. Assessing the potential benefits or drawbacks beforehand by the ACLU and others shows that the only consensus is there isn’t one. We have studied opinions from both sides – with Ms. Enamorado hopeful that swift results come out with its implementation. At the same time, Mr. Beeber expresses skepticism towards its effectiveness. We will assume the campaign funders and their politicians will err on the side of their scientists, experts, and others on their payroll.
The Impact of Speed Cameras on Traffic Fatalities
The speed cameras industry in San Francisco argues traffic deaths will be dramatically reduced by discouraging speeding drivers and increasing road safety awareness. They claim their speed camera pilot program isn’t about profits. Speeding vehicles threaten pedestrians, who then often decide not to use crosswalks or wait for signals, which could lead them into hazardous behaviors such as jaywalking.
National Transportation Safety Board (NHTSA) data suggests that: “…speeding accounts for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities.” In 2021 alone, 4,285 people in California died from traffic fatalities. Of those, 1,233 were pedestrians and cyclists.”
Data from California Highway Patrol (CHP) demonstrates that excessive speed is the primary factor leading up to fatal crashes in Los Angeles and other northern cities of California. Consequently, these facts indicate how installing speed cameras can result in a significant decline in traffic collisions experienced across many urban streets within this state due to its effects on deterring reckless drivers’ behavior behind the wheel. However, road design and substantially changed traffic conditions likely play a far more significant role in the number of people killed on our roads.
In Northern California cities where it rains or snows, including San Francisco and San Jose, officials hope to collect personal data as well. So it’s not just about deadly speeding. The pilot program under the guise of “safety corridors” will put you in a database you may not be able to trust. Speed Cameras in School Zones and Urban Streets in CA The pilot program for speed cameras in California was created to help protect drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians in some of the state’s southern cities. These safety measures will be enacted by enforcing posted speed limits at school zones with frequent street racing activity and roads known for having high numbers of fatal crashes.
As part of this trial, a limited number of speed camera setups have been set up within three Southern Californian municipalities- each issuing fines starting at $50 when motorists exceed the maximum limit by 11 miles per hour or more. We applaud the idea of reducing pedestrian deaths and the goal of reducing crashes. However, throughout history, we have seen politicians concentrate political power on a cash grab. And we are not convinced partnering with the government is a proven tool for anything but corruption. Furthermore, as the ACLU pointed out, no one addressed privacy concerns before Gavin Newsom signed the bill.
- New York City is an example illustrating what could come from installing these types of cameras: they experienced a 63% drop-off rate on speeding tickets issued after deployment within their designated school areas alone! With proper implementation mimicking such strategies here in our California cities, it would promote safer streets while simultaneously reducing fatalities related to traffic accidents.
“The camera companies typically take all the risk, he says, and local governments don’t have to pay anything upfront. They also review and process the violations. Most contracts, he says, charge government entities flat fees although some governments award a percentage of each paid violation to the companies.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/18/red-light-cameras-lawsuits/1985537/
Addressing Privacy Concerns with Speed Cameras
Speed cameras are designed to help maintain safe speed limits while also raising privacy concerns, such as the collection of personal data or their unequal effect on low-income and minority communities. To address these issues, it is important for authorities only to capture license plates rather than drivers when using camera technology – this ensures effective enforcement without compromising individuals’ rights.
Regulation must be present along with transparency for the public to know what is being done and how safeguards have been put into place against misuse/abuse. Ultimately, there can be an equilibrium between security & safety created by enforcing speed regulations via cameras if proper steps (such as those listed) are taken care of accordingly.
First-Time Offenders and Minor Speeding: How the New Law Handles Them
Under the speed camera law recently implemented in California, those who are caught driving over the limit by cameras initially receive a warning. After this first instance, they will be fined $50. This policy is designed to inform and dissuade drivers from speeding rather than immediately punishing them. To ensure that it does not hit low-income individuals more heavily than others, cities must also adjust fines for people living under the poverty line, according to AB 645. The overall aim of this approach is to work towards decreasing traffic fatalities while being fair to all motorists regardless of their financial situation or minor speeding infractions captured on cameras.
The Role of Public Opinion and Bipartisan Support
Successful implementation of speed cameras depends on the public’s perception and approval, as well as bipartisan backing. Positive views on using cameras to reduce traffic fatalities can lead to greater acceptance and compliance with them. On the other hand, negative feelings or broad opposition will block their success in doing this task effectively. For a successful program that is backed by both political sides, it becomes essential if we are aiming for increased effectiveness when using speed cameras as an approach towards safer roads.
Lessons Learned from New York City and Other Successful Programs
Speed cameras have been highly effective in numerous cities, including New York City, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. California can gain a lot from the lessons learned by these cities when it comes to implementing its own speed camera program for safer roads. It must include installing several of them within designated zones and constant upgrading and monitoring that will enable issuing sufficient tickets for violators.
By studying how other areas handle traffic fatalities with the help of cameras detecting excessive speeds on roadways, there is potential for Californians to reduce this sort of tragedy considerably through careful planning based upon best practices gleaned from other places worldwide that use such measures effectively. This is the hope of the family of a deceased pastor, Trina Newman Townsend. A hit-and-run driver fatally struck her on Christmas Eve 2022. She was minding her own business, dropping off toys at a shelter.
Challenging Speed Camera Tickets in California: A Comprehensive Guide
In California, there are ways to challenge traffic cam tickets.
1. Understand the Basics: Speed camera tickets are based on photographic evidence. This means there is no police officer present. In California, they are typically issued by private companies on behalf of law enforcement agencies.
2. Review the Ticket: Carefully examine the ticket you received for the date, time, location, speed recorded, and clear photographic evidence of your vehicle.
3. Check the Equipment: These machines must meet specific requirements for accuracy and calibration. So ensure the camera equipment used for your ticket complies with these standards.
4. Identify the Driver: If you weren’t the driver, you can challenge the ticket, but the burden is on you to provide the identity of the actual driver to avoid penalties. Obviously, this is a violation of Natural Law and Natural rights, another reason to flee California.
5. Research the Location: Some cities shorten yellow light phasing durations to increase ticket revenue improperly. If you suspect this, visit the intersection in question and time the yellow light cycle.
6. Signs and Placement: Ensure warning signs are adequately in place per legal requirements. Signs must be visible within 200 feet of the camera-enforced intersection.
7. Evidence Quality: Check if the ticket includes the required two photos that are clear enough to identify both the driver and the vehicle. Blurry or missing photos can be a basis for dismissal.
8. Necessity Defense: If you had to run a red light to prevent a worse accident (take evasive action), you may have a valid necessity defense, resulting in a ticket dismissal.
9. Legal Assistance: Consider seeking legal advice or consulting experts specializing in challenging speed camera tickets to obtain valuable guidance.
10. Contest the Ticket: Follow the instructions on the ticket to contest it and prepare all the evidence and documentation that supports your challenge.
California wishes to capitalize on creating safer streets by controlling velocity limits via Speed Cameras. Now, they can play with the numbers and keep the tax revenues flowing. Whether this keeps you from getting injured other than your pocketbook remains to be seen.
To promote safer roads and reduce traffic fatalities in California, speed cameras can be an effective tool. Implementing a successful system of these cameras requires proper regulation, data protection measures, transparency efforts, and addressing any privacy concerns or public opinion issues that arise. By drawing on the experience of other cities with established camera programs to maximize effectiveness for their own use them, Californians could realize a positive benefit from cameras seeking people driving at least 11 mph over the limits technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of California’s speed camera legislation?
The purpose of California’s speed camera law is to promote road safety by controlling and punishing violators through cameras that monitor speed limits to reduce traffic fatalities. A noted, civil libertarians think this information will be misused for a nefarious purpose.
How do speed cameras differ from red light cameras?
Cameras, both speed and red light ones, are deployed to improve road safety. Speed cameras capture drivers who exceed the stated maximum speed limit, while those at traffic lights detect people who disregard signals.
How will the new law handle first-time offenders and minor speeding violations?
Under the new law, first-time offenders who commit minor speeding infractions will be warned, followed by a fine starting at $50.
What measures can be taken to ensure privacy when using speed cameras?
It is important to make sure privacy is maintained when using speed cameras. To do this, capturing only the car’s license plate should be implemented along with proper regulations for data protection and transparency regarding the usage of these cameras.
What is the potential impact of speed cameras on speeding in school zones?
The installation of speed cameras in New York City has had a powerful effect, where speeding in school zones dropped by 63% within school zones. This serves as proof for politicians that these cameras can be efficient at preventing excessive speed and keeping people safe. Los Angeles, in particular, stands to get rich off these cameras. And since lawsuits by police and police victims all but ended strong traffic law enforcement, policeless cameras could help pay pensions and benefits government employees seek.
Were you struck and hospitalized by a speeding driver in California by racers or a reckless driver? If so, as reported by our best car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, things may be getting safer. After losing three Pepperdine University Students on PCH and Malibu last week, Newsom was in a good political position to sign speed camera legislation. At least three Bay Area cities and more, as well as the corporations selling the cameras, stand to make some serious revenues. Newsom’s decision to implement them may or may not avoid serious injury or death involving motor vehicles.
On its face, it is a sensible attempt to reduce traffic fatalities and improve road safety. Do you think the state could address privacy concerns? But in reality, cash-strapped California has seen many income earners and businesses fleeing its “anti-parent,” “woke” policies.
We shall see whether taking away even more freedom from travelers will see more freedom-minded Californians leave for Florida or Texas. Are you still seeking answers on how effective these cameras might be to improve traffic safety throughout California? We assume they will be installed quickly, as road repairs and potholes seem to be a non-priority for Caltrans, especially bicyclists near schools.
Score one for Governor Newsom and his campaign funders. And maybe score one for this new law, assuming liberty means less than safety for residents. Were you in a car accident? Contact Michael Ehline at Ehline Law Firm for a free consultation using our contact form or by dialing (213) 596-9642. We are ready 24/7 to answer your calls in a confidential, risk-free setting to prove a speeder caused your accident.