Dangerous intersection in SJ gets fixed license plate cameras as traffic deaths on record pace

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Drivers in San Jose may notice new cameras on their commute. Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) were installed on Monday, in an effort to reduce the number of traffic deaths in the city.

The cameras are meant to capture the license plates of drivers through the specific intersection of Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue.

"This was my daughter. I have no idea who killed her- no idea," San Jose resident Felipa Pineda said. "If we would've had cameras up, we would've caught the person who killed my daughter. I know we would."

Pineda has spent the last year pushing for safety improvements at the intersection, considered to be one of the city's most dangerous.

VIDEO: Dangerous San Jose intersection to see safety upgrade after fatal hit-and-runs
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San Jose city leaders unanimously voted to take action and to increase safety at the dangerous intersection of Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue.



Her demands have led to changes at Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue, including the installation of four ALPRs. The city said the cameras went up on Monday as part of a pilot program- along with signs alerting drivers.

Last April, Pineda's daughter, Vanessa Arce, a mother of five- was in her wheelchair and in the crosswalk when she was hit and left for dead.

"The only glimpse into your daughter's crash came from where," ABC7 News asked.

"It came from the shell gas station right over here," Pineda answered, as she pointed across the street. "That's the only camera that's working around here."

On Friday, police marked San Jose's 28th traffic death this year- stemming from an unsolved hit-and-run case from 2011.

RELATED: Woman hit by car in San Jose, left quadriplegic 11 years ago dies from injuries
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A woman who was severely injured, left a quadriplegic after being hit by a car 11 years ago has died from injuries in the crash, San Jose police said.



The victim in that crash, Shea Shaw, was 15-years-old at the time. She was hit at Camden and Bascom and became a quadriplegic. She died Tuesday in hospice care.

A nearby business captured surveillance video- the only footage that was released back in 2011.

Shaw's mother spoke with ABC7 News, reacting to news about the new technology.

"Why didn't they do that 11 years ago," she asked.

SJPD announced Friday, the investigation is now being reopened after Shaw died this week.

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ABC7 has exclusive video of a car accident involving two vehicles and a bicyclist Thursday in San Jose. No one was seriously hurt in the incident.



At a time when traffic fatalities in San Jose continue at record pace, the pilot program will test whether the cameras are an effective tool at reducing the number of traffic crashes.

However, privacy advocates are raising concerns about this surveillance technology.

Kristen Van Kley, the Deputy Public Information Officer for the Office of Communications in San Jose assured, "No individual personal information is being captured. It is really taking pictures of numbers. And the whole purpose of this is to save lives and make it a safer intersection."

Still, the non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) claims the information stored is "susceptible to both misuse and data breach."

Instead, EFF suggested, "One of the better privacy protections would be for police to retain no information at all when a passing vehicle does not match a hot list."

ABC7 News asked the city when the license plate readers would be fully functioning. We're told right now, there is no set date.

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