By Jeremy Lybarger : sfweekly – excerpt
San Francisco wants to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024 — an ambitious plan, called Vision Zero, that combines new traffic signals and crosswalks with stricter law enforcement. A report released by the City Controller’s Office yesterday examines what could be a controversial new tool in the city’s war on mean streets: Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE).
You’ve no doubt heard of ASE cameras. Major cities such as Chicago are a perpetual Panopticon thanks to them, as are smaller metros including Denver and Portland. The cameras are mounted, Big Brother-style, on infrastructure like light posts or installed on vans that park in targeted neighborhoods. The cameras detect and photograph multiple speeding cars per minute, and issue citations by mail.
Sounds like a plum moneymaker for the city, right?
The report aims to disabuse you of such crazy notions. ASE-issued fines should be lower than traditional speeding tickets, it advises, and ASE vendors “should be compensated based on specific services provided as listed in a contract rather than on the number of citations issued.” Also, warning tickets should be issued for at least 30 days before it’s time to start dispensing the real deal.
“The program is about reducing speeding for safety rather than for revenue generation,” the report says….
…The good news, for opponents of the proposal, is that California state law prohibits speed cameras. San Francisco would have to pressure Sacramento to lift the ban before rolling out ASE here. In New York, the implementation and legislation process took 10 years.
The process here probably won’t be speedy, either… (more)