Every week two Oaklanders are killed or seriously injured by traffic violence. These crashes disproportionally impact BIPOC communities, seniors, children, and people with disabilities. The Safe Oakland Streets (SOS) Initiative aims to prevent severe and fatal traffic crashes, eliminate injury inequities, and carefully assess and mitigate any equity impacts resulting from safety measures.
SOS found that, in addition to engineering, automated speed enforcement is highly effective at preventing traffic deaths, while also advancing Reimagining Public Safety Task Force goals of moving most traffic enforcement from OPD to DOT. As of October 13th 2023 there is a new state law that allows Oakland and 5 other cities to administer these speed safety systems as a pilot program. Oakland is permitted a total 18 safety systems administered by the Department of Transportation.
Equity and privacy provisions include:
- Small fines that start at 11 mph over the speed limit ($50) and offer a 50-80% fine reduction if unable to pay, v. hundreds for traditional speeding tickets.
- Classifies citations as non-moving violations, meaning no points on a driver's license.
- Removing interactions between police and the community at traffic stops that have the potential to escalate.
- Opportunities for community service in lieu of fines.
- Extensive community involvement in drafting a "Use Policy & Equity Analysis" that includes criteria to select locations.
- Only authorizes the use of photographs (no video) that capture only the rear of the license plate, not the windshield or face of driver. Prohibits the use of facial recognition software.
- Footage may only be retained for 5 days if no violation is issued, 60 days if a violation is issued.
- Footage must be collected by the Department of Transportation and may not be shared or used for any other purpose.
The goal is to make our streets safer.
- Other cities with similar programs have reduced fatal traffic crashes by 39-70%. This program can save lives.
- Drivers are warned of speed safety systems with signage - camera locations will be obvious to encourage people to slow down.
- New systems will issue warnings for the first 30 days, rather than fines.
- If speeding is not decreased by at least 25% after 18 months additional traffic calming measures are required.
- If there is any revenue generated it must be spent on traffic calming.
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Have questions or comments? Contact Mica Amichai, SOS Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.