Drivers in 3 Bay Area cities could soon get tickets in the mail for speeding.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Drivers in three Bay Area cities could soon get tickets in the mail for speeding.
A new law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom allows the use of speed cameras to track drivers who are driving over the speed limit.
A vigil was held Saturday to honor Guadalupe Briones Mendez who was killed in September by a speeding driver in Oakland.
Family and friends held signs telling drivers to slow down.
"We have to cross these streets. So, let's just make them safer," says Jacqueline Lee, Mendez's niece who took part in the vigil.
A new bill, AB 645, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday is attempting to do that with speed cameras.
"This is fantastic news that Governor Newsom signed this. Speed is the number one cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco, and the state as whole. And we need more solutions," says Marta Lindsey, with the group Walk San Francisco, which has been pushing for safer streets.
The Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, will join Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as the six test cities where speed cameras will be installed to catch speeding drivers. The cameras will be placed in high-accident areas, school zones and where streets racing is popular.
"New York City, and many other cities around the country, have shown incredible results with speed cameras. And it's changing behavior and that's what needs to happen. People need to drive slower. It's not about giving tickets," says Lindsey.
Violators will get a ticket in the mail. Fines range from $50 to $500, depending on speed. The bill states that tickets won't impact a driver's insurance rates or driving record.
Yet, the legislation still has its critics.
"It's absurd to me to that we continue to do the same thing and expect different results," says Cat Brooks, wit the Anti-Police Terror Project.
She says there is data that shows that automated license plate reader programs don't work. Although the legislation has specific provisions on who can access the data, Brooks and many other civil liberties groups, have concerns over privacy. And, how the data may be used.
"It is tied to a fiscal incentive to ticket and fine people. And that compounds the poverty that our most marginalized communities already living under," says Brooks.
Other versions of this bill have failed. Yet supporter say revisions in this bill do more to address the targeting low-income residents and privacy.
"This bill, and I think this is why it got all the way to the governor, and was signed, has been really carefully crafted in terms of privacy. And it takes photo of your license plate, just like crossing the Bay Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge, right?" says Lindsey.
The program begins in January and will last several years.
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