Safe Streets Act of 2017
Assembly Bill 342




Motor Vehicle Collisions are a Leading Cause of Injury Death and a Major Public Health Crisis

In the US, 40,000 people die annually in traffic collisions (i). 
10% of these deaths are in California. Motor vehicle collisions are the: 

#2 cause of injury deaths* for those under 5 years old

#1 cause of injury deaths for children and young adults

#2 cause of injury deaths for 

adults and seniors

Speeding is the Major Factor in Severe Injuries and Fatalities

Vehicle speed is the strongest predictor of whether a person who is hit by a car is killed or survives a traffic collision. In the US, speeding was a contributing factor in 28 percent of crash deaths in 2014, resulting in 9,262 deaths (ii). The faster a car is traveling, the greater the risk of serious injury or death to those in and outside a vehicle in a collision (iii).

If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle traveling 20 mph, they have a 90% chance of surviving.

The likelihood of survival is only 20% when a hit by a vehicle traveling 40 mph.

Seniors only have an 8% chance of survival if hit by a car traveling 40 mph.

Speeding Kills in San Francisco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (iv)

AB 342 "The Safe Streets Act of 2017" introduced at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

     On February 8th 2017, State and Local officials met for a press event to announce the introduction of Assembly Bill 342. AB 342 gives San Jose and San Francisco the authority to install automated speed enforcement (ASE) systems over a five-year pilot period in order reduce speeding and protect the safety of vulnerable travelers, such as children, the elderly, and bicyclists, in the two municipalities. Like emergency medical care, ASE is a life-saving tool to address dangerous conditions on our streets. 

Find out more about efforts related to Safe Streets Act of 2017 here:

What is Automated Speed Enforcement?

     In order to make our streets hospitable for all road users, drivers must be discouraged from traveling excessive speeds. Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is a safety technique that uses vehicle speed sensors and cameras to capture images of cars traveling excessive speeds. ASE is a proven tool to deter illegal speeding because the technology provides consistent and predictable enforcement of the speed limit.                                                                                                                       With ASE, cameras: (1) only activate when speeding (10 mph over the speed limit); (2) only can take photos of license plates, eliminating opportunity for bias; (3) operate at speed of light, and can detect speeding across multiple lanes of traffic. In addition, safety camera locations will be on the City(s) website and signed with the goal of slowing people down.  A public education campaign will launch prior to operating the program so people know to expect it, and there will be a 90 day warning period prior to ticket issuance. The ticket cost is low ($100) and motorists will still be granted full protection under the law (opportunity to contest their ticket).  

Automated Speed Enforcement Used Nationwide

While ASE may be a new technology in California, it is not new across the rest of the US. There are now 139 communities across 15 states and Washington DC that use it.

Communities that Use Automated Speed Enforcement Save Lives

Washington, DC found a 70% reduction in fatalities

Portland reported a 53% reduction in fatalities since program inception

Denver realized a 28% decrease in average speed

Chicago reported a 31% decrease in speeding vehicles

New York City reported a 13% decrease in collisions with injuries near cameras sites 

                                                                                                                                                            (v)

Speed related collisions and severe and fatal injuries: San Francisco, 2012-2016

Between 2012 and 2016 in San Francisco, 239 people were severely injured and 25 people died in collisions where unsafe speed was a primary factor (vi).

Speed related collisions and severe and fatal injuries: San Jose, 2010-2014

Between 2010 and 2014 in San Jose, 197 people were severely injured and 19 people died in collisions where unsafe speed was a primary factor (vii).

San Francisco Department of Public Health: Office of Policy and Planning

*Specifically classified as unintentional injury deaths, which are a subset of a larger category that represents all injuries referred to as “external causes of injury” based on the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Edition codes (ICD-10).

Data Sources: 

(i) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Vital Statistics System 

(ii) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2016). 2014 Traffic Safety Facts - Speeding. DOT HS 812 265. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812265

(iii) Leaf, W. A., and D. F. Preusser. “Literature Review on Vehicle Travel Speeds and Pedestrian Injuries.” Springfield, Virginia: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, October 1999. https://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=648557.

(iv) San Francisco Department of Public Health, 2017

(v) Phillips, Claire, and Corina Monzón. “Automated Speed Enforcement Implementation: Survey Findings and Lessons Learned From Around the Country.” San Francisco, CA: Office of the Controller, November 12, 2015. sfcontroller.org/sites/default/files/FileCenter/Documents/6928-Automated%20Speed%20Enforcement%20Implementation%20-%20Survey%20Findings%20and%20Lessons%20Learned%20From%20Around%20the%20Country.pdf.

(vi) TransBASESF.org, San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). 2017. Data downloaded on 12/14/2017. [Only unsafe speed collisions resulting in a fatal and severe are mapped. Collisions occurring on freeways are excluded]

(vii) Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, University of California, Berkeley. 2017. Data downloaded on 12/14/2017. [Only unsafe speed collisions resulting in a fatal and severe are mapped. Collisions occurring on freeways are excluded]

Photo Credits:  SFMTA, 2017

Graphics Credits: Noun Project: "Baby", Saeed Farrahi; Children and Young Adults ,Piotrek Chuckla; "Elderly", Marie Van den Broek; "Pedestrian in Crosswalk", Pierre-Luc Auclair; "Speeding Car", Nate Eul