Over the years, continuous efforts are introduced to keep drivers from speeding. Speed kills for those who have a hard time admitting its cause and effect on roads. For California, commonly in San Francisco and throughout several other cities speeding is problematic. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports in years 2014 - 2015, 3.5% of drivers were involved in accidents caused by speed alone. Speeding is identified as the main risk factor in traffic injuries that occur on the roads. Speed influences, both the risk of the road crash as well as the seriousness of the injuries that result from a car crash.
What is Excessive Speed?
To explain, excess speed means driving above the posted speed limit. Inappropriate speeding is driving at unsuitable speed limits not conducive to the conditions of the road or specific traffic conditions. Speeding excessively or inappropriate speeding when not necessary are responsible for a high percentage of death and injury that result in car crashes. There is a direct correlation of speeding in high-income countries as opposed to low and middle income countries. While high-income countries show about 30% of deaths on the road, the low and middle income have a huge difference where about half of all crashes on the road are from the main contribution of speed.
Speed Ticket Cameras, Necessity or Want?
State Legislation is anxiously ready to introduce a bill that would legalize speed ticket cameras. The new legislative proposal, as part of a pilot program would issue speeding tickets of those caught speeding by the speed cameras. Jay Beeber, a longtime resident of Los Angeles, and advocate against this five-year pilot program states that this legislative bill, also known as AB 342, would open a whole Pandora box on this issue of fairness and rights given to taxpayers if this bill is implemented.
The speed camera function similarly to those of the red-light camera. One of the goals of this bill is to send registered owners a ticket in the mail if caught exceeding posted speed limits. Another goal is to decrease the court’s docket of Superior Court hearings. The hearings that are normally held in superior court hearings would be held in administrative hearings much like parking tickets. Speed cameras would be located on streets that have a record of having a high rate of collisions with factors of speeding that cause injuries or death. The pilot program was not successful in San Jose in the early 2000’s and quickly shut down. For 20 years, speed camera lights have been active in the United Kingdom, although not received, and hated by many drivers. As with the United Kingdom, many question if the speed cameras are effective in accomplishing the goal to reduce speeding.
According to Beeber, the problem is that the bill does not provide due process. Due process is equal and fair treatment to citizens through a normal judicial system. A law should not be unreasonable, capricious, or arbitrary. Beeber, also states that there is no real proof that the speed cameras reduce speeding and make the roads safer. The bill also does not require a photo of the driver only a photo of the car. Thus leaving registered owners of the vehicle responsible for tickets issued even if they were not behind the wheel of the car driving.
The bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to refuse renewal of vehicle registration, if the speed ticket is not paid as specified. The way the bill is written, it does not allow the potential violator the chance to cross-examine the camera, as they would have the ability to do so with a police officer. Beeber reiterates that this is just another way to bleed more money out of taxpayers.
Jay Beeber has the support of Jay S. Carsman, former Los Angeles Department of Transportation parking system coordinator. Like Beeber, Carsman focuses on the corrupted system that comes from demands of significant revenue growth, the monetary demands and time limits placed on motorists to contest their parking citations, and the authority given by local agency to adjust schedules of fines and late penalties. Jay Carsman advised legislation to take heed from mistakes made with parking citations.
Assemblyman David Chiu continues to argue that the speed camera would make the roads safer to travel.
Chiu makes notes that there is no doubt that speed kills. Some may argue that the traditional methods of managing speed are just not enough these days. Speed limits are set for the safety of drivers and prolonging the longevity of life. An effective measure of regulating speed is through visible enforcement. Furthermore, speed cameras are a highly cost-effective means in reducing road crashes caused by speeding. Without hitting taxpayers pockets, traffic calming measures such as speed humps, roundabouts, and road narrowing are useful and proven to control traffic flow effectively.