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Senate Bill Could Bring Speed Cameras to California

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Last Monday, State Senator Bob Dutton, a Republican representing the 31st District (cities East of Los Angeles including Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga), introduced Senate Bill 1142, a bill that would make changes to 21455.5 of the Vehicle Code. You may be more familiar with the law when put this way: it allows enforcement cameras at intersections (don't run a red light or you'll be on candid camera). The Legislative Counsel Digest says this about the bill:

Existing law authorizes the limit line, intersection, or other places where a driver is required to stop to be equipped with an automated traffic enforcement system, as defined, if the system meets certain requirements. Existing law limits the authority to operate an automated traffic enforcement system to governmental agencies in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
Support for LAist comes from, a citizen advocate watchdog site for all things California red light cameras,says that "SB 1142 will remove from VC 21455.5 the requirement that an automated enforcement device be at an intersection, and that will allow the devices to be put on freeways. That change is accomplished by the repositioning of a 7-word phrase in VC 21455.5(a)(2)."

Upon speaking to Larry Venus, Communications Director for the Senator, he explained the recently submitted bill to be a "spot bill." Spot bills are used to circumvent the deadline to get bills in. In theory, SB1142 may be about a change in the vehicle code today, but could be about healthcare tomorrow. And in the end, Dutton may never act upon the bill.

At the moment, it's all very open ended. SB1142 may go away, it may change to something else or it may continue on its path to becoming a law (if voted on by majority) allowing agencies to put cameras on freeways or streets ticketing you for going over the speed limit.

Let's say SB1142 stays as is and continues to be submitted as a law that could enable speed cameras in California, something that is a loss of privacy to some, a gain in road safety to others. What do you think?

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