IRVINE (CBSLA) — California Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, has introduced a bill that would authorize local governments to install speeding cameras near school zones.
The former schoolteacher said the bill would allow local officials to install cameras that would capture video of speeding drivers — much like red light cameras — and mail the alleged offenders a ticket.
But, she said, the fine would not be a flat rate, but rather based on the driver's ability to pay.
"Since we locked down due to the pandemic, essentially cars have had the streets to themselves, and our children are going to be going back to school," she said. "As we reopen schools, it is critically important that we have these safety measures in place."
Many parents agreed.
"It would be easier to catch people who are breaking the law and not following the laws of the school zones, and I'm all for it," Nicole McLoud, a grandmother, said.
"Now you can't get away with it, because if there's cameras, they're gonna catch your license plate," Owlaso Miranda, a father, said. "If you know you're being recorded, I think you're gonna drive around a little more safe, too, a little more cautious."
Authorities said they have issued nearly double the number of traffic tickets compared to the year before since the pandemic began. Many who have spoken to CBS Los Angeles have reported an increase in street racing and speeding incidents.
But, just as red light cameras went by the wayside after cities like Los Angeles found the fines unenforceable, some wonder if speeding cameras will be any different.
"You're not going to be able to enforce somebody racing down the street, because you won't be able to capture the license plate," Ken Tjon, a driver, said. "It's gonna be a waste of money."
If the bill passes, there would be new and obvious signage to let drivers know they're entering a speed safety zone. Tickets could be up to $150 each.
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