Meet the Oakland moms pushing for highway camera transparency to stop shootings

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Friday, September 1, 2023
Oakland moms push for highway camera transparency to stop shootings
A group of moms is leading the charge in advocating for highway safety cameras in the Bay Area after several reported shootings.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Calls for transparency on the deployment of highway safety cameras are growing weeks after a young boy was paralyzed by a stray bullet on a Bay Area freeway.

A group of moms is leading the charge. Online they are known as "Families for a Safer Oakland."

In everyday life, they are moms with a mission.

"We are committed to making Oakland a better place, and we've also started to lend our voice to things that are important, which is how a lot of us got involved in the advocacy behind installing cameras in Bay Area freeways," said Arielle Fleisher, Oakland resident.

RELATED: 8-year-old boy in 'grave condition' after being shot in Oakland freeway shootout, CHP says

An 8-year-old boy was injured in a shooting on Interstate 580 in Oakland Friday evening, the CHP said.

They met during the pandemic and now hundreds have joined their cause.

In the last 15 days, they've sent 449 letters to local and state officials demanding transparency on the installation of highway cameras.

Their main driver was the heartbreaking story of an 8-year-old boy now paralyzed after being hit by crossfire on Interstate 580 in July.

"Unfortunately, he is one of many on a long list of people who have been injured on Bay Area freeways. Injured or killed," Fleisher said.

MORE: Woman shot in leg while driving on I-280 southbound in SF, CHP says

Today CHP confirmed they haven't made any arrests in the shooting of the 8-year-old boy and wouldn't reveal if there were any cameras on that stretch of I-580.

Gov. Newsom provided $10 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year for Caltrans to begin the process of installing 200 freeway cameras at approximately 50 locations throughout the state. Hercules Vice Mayor Dan Romero wants details on their deployment.

"The cameras are important but who is gathering that information? There has to be a hub where all that comes into. The state doesn't want to do it so it has to be a local law enforcement agency," Romero said.

In a statement, Caltrans said in part: "As of today, as part of the initial phase of the Highway Camera Safety Pilot program, Caltrans has installed approximately 180 cameras in the Bay Area. Simultaneously, Caltrans is working to upgrade infrastructure at its Oakland Transportation Management Center to allow these newly upgraded cameras to record."

MORE: Jasper Wu: Suspects charged in I-880 freeway shooting death of toddler now eligible for parole

Caltrans did not confirm if any of these cameras are yet active.

We went to the San Pablo Police Department where, since 2011, they've been using this technology and have experienced over 60% decrease of gunfire crimes.

"Any time gunfire goes off in the city we are notified within seconds of the location. The audio get captured ... that is when the investigation can start," said Capt. Brian Bubar with the San Pablo Police Department.

These moms are hoping more highway cameras make a difference.

"Here is a solution that is fully funded let's make it happen," Fleisher said.

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