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Automatic Speed Enforcement

Call to Action: Urge SFMTA to Install Speed Cameras Faster

A.B. 645, the speed camera bill, was signed into law earlier this month. Now SFMTA says it needs another year just to study where to put them.

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography. Speed cameras work.

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

The recent signing of A.B. 645 by Governor Gavin Newsom, which legalized speed cameras, is a critical and timely measure to address the pressing need for traffic safety in our city. But I was disheartened to learn that the SFMTA plans to spend the entirety of 2024 merely assessing the placement of its 33 alloted speed cameras.

Every year, there are about 30 traffic deaths in San Francisco. Each one represents not just a number but a person – a family member, a friend, or a neighbor, lost due to preventable circumstances. This statistic becomes even more poignant when we consider that we have already identified the high-injury network in our city. It is clear that action can and should be taken immediately, utilizing the data that we already possess.

I understand the importance of thorough research and proper assessment. And the law requires a "Use Policy & Equity Analysis" with criteria to select locations.

But surely the timeline for completing this can be shorter. At the last SFMTA Board Meeting, Director Jeffrey Tumlin said he assumed the bill would become law and had already instructed staff to start the required analysis. If that's true, how can it possibly take until 2025 to get cameras up and running?

Waiting over a year to get cameras installed, especially when lives are at stake, is not just inefficient but also morally indefensible. I urge the SFMTA to work hard and cut their timeline in half, so the first speed safety camera protects our streets by July 2024. 

Our community cannot afford another year of waiting, hoping, and mourning. Speed cameras are an essential tool in the quest for safer streets, and their immediate deployment can be the difference between life and death.

The residents of San Francisco deserve safe streets as soon as possible, not in 2025.

Join us and urge the city to deploy speed cameras faster.


Michael Sacks is a lead at Northern Neighbors, which advocates for more housing, better transit, vibrant business, and pedestrian & bike safety.

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