SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New legislation would install sensors along California’s roads that would automatically ticket speeding drivers, prompting concerns the program may not improve safety on state roads.

The sensors would only be activated on vehicles traveling 10 miles over the speed limit.

The idea of a 5-year test program for speed cameras has opponents crying foul, fearing it could spread statewide. The group Safer Streets Los Angeles argues the cameras are more about money than safety.

“No matter how well-intentioned when they start out, they always devolve into money-making propositions,” said Jay Beeber. “We’ve seen this with automated red-light cameras.”

Assemblyman David Chiu says there are key differences between speed cameras and red-light cameras.

“We are simply talking about a fine, like a parking ticket, less than $100,” he said.

No point would be issued against the driver’s record, and signs would be in place on streets where the cameras would be installed.

Still, critics argue it’s just a high-tech way to trap you behind the wheel. The cameras target a car’s license plate, which means the car owner is on the hook, no matter who was driving.

San Jose and San Francisco would be part of the five-year pilot program, but it has the potential to go statweide.

Comments (3)
  1. This will just encourage more people to put fake paper plates on their car. They have the names of **non-existent** “used car dealers”. I see them often near construction sites…construction workers often move around from one project to the next. So, to them, it makes no sense for a Nevada or Oregon worker to “waste” money on California DMV registration. Now, they’ll use the tactic to evade speed cameras, too.

  2. The $100 fine is just the base amount. After adding all sorts of state, county, local fees and court costs, it’s more like $500.

  3. James Walker says:

    Speed cameras will produce profits above their own high costs (typically $3,000+ per month per camera) ONLY when used in areas where the posted limits are set 8 to 10 mph or more below the safest point – the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions, rounded to the nearest 5 mph interval. Example: If 85% of the cars are at or under 38 to 42 mph, the safest limit to post for the fewest crashes is 40 mph — NOT 35 or 30 or lower. If posted correctly at 40, a speed camera would not produce enough total fines to even pay its own costs. Speed cameras are viable financially ONLY when the posted limits are deliberately mis-engineered for more tickets and less safety. They are ALWAYS government-run rackets that no one should support.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association