S.F. mayor pushing for special cameras to bust speeders

By Phil Matier and Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wants to bring in special cameras that would be used to ticket speeders.

Is he kidding? It is almost impossible to do the speed limit now. If he wants to bust speeders eh will have to clear up the traffic jams first.

Heads up, lead foots, Mayor Ed Lee is moving ahead with plans to bring speed cameras to San Francisco.

“It remains in our legislative agenda,” Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

The cameras could be fixed or mounted on vans and first would be deployed near schools and seniors facilities. They would operate in much the same way as red-light cameras, using radar to track speed and then snapping a photo of those going over the limit.

“It’s a proven way to reduce accidents and fatalities,” said Rose, noting that Portland, Ore., New York, Seattle, Chicago and the District of Columbia are already using the gadgets.

As with red-light cameras, the new speed-trackers would capture the vehicle’s license plate along with the time, date and location. The vehicle owner then would be issued a $100 fine by Muni. The police would not be involved.

“Unlike a regular speeding ticket, it would not be a moving violation and would not go on the person’s driving record,” Rose said. The tickets would not be subject to the various state surcharges that can turn a $100 moving violation into a $400 fine.

In short, the speed-camera ticket would be more like a parking citation. And, as with a parking ticket, the car owner would be responsible for the fine — no matter who was driving.

Money from the tickets would go into road safety initiatives.

Rose said none of the city’s legislative representatives has offered to author the change in state law that is needed to make the cameras a reality, but that the mayor would keep pushing no matter what(more)

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