SFMTA Introduces Photo Enforcement Measure at Market Street and Octavia Boulevard to Increase Safety

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, today announced that in November 2013, a no-right-turn, automated photo enforcement system will be activated at the intersection of eastbound Market Street and Octavia Boulevard. As part of the agency’s overall efforts to ensure the safety of all road users, this measure is a first of its kind in San Francisco, and will help the city protect bicyclists and pedestrians from illegal right turns made by vehicles at the intersection.

The intersection of Market Street and Octavia Boulevard has been the site of several bicycle collisions with motor vehicles due to illegal right turns made by eastbound motorists attempting to enter the Highway 101 on-ramp on Octavia Boulevard.

“Until now, camera enforcement has only been used for red light violations,” said District 17 California State Assembly Member, Tom Ammiano. “There were questions about using them against illegal right turns, so I was happy to sponsor legislation about it. That led to the state clearing up those concerns and now we know we can do this. It’s not about punishment, it’s about careful enforcement to make sure our pedestrians and cyclists are safe.”

The SFMTA has implemented a variety of safety measures at the intersection of Market Street and Octavia Boulevard since 2011 in response to illegal right turns made by vehicles. Recent measures such as green-backed shared bike markings, “sharrows,” with dashed lane markings through the intersection for bicyclists and upgraded ladder-style crosswalks for pedestrians were implemented in 2013.

These measures, combined with existing concrete barriers and extra signage and signals that were installed in 2011, are intended to discourage illegal right turns by providing additional visual cues to any motorist contemplating the illegal turn. The camera will help the SFMTA move beyond physical measures at the intersection to utilize an additional enforcement mechanism.

“The SFMTA is dedicated to pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Reducing the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities associated with red light violations and illegal right or left turns, is a focus for the agency, and this new enforcement measure will help us improve conditions at Market and Octavia,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors.

“This photo enforcement measure is an important step for the city to take. Our agency has acted to implement a variety of safety measures at this intersection over the years, and now thanks to sound legislation spearheaded by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, we now have more of the right tools needed to change driver behavior and protect pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin.

“We are pleased that the long-needed enforcement camera at Market and Octavia will soon be in place.  This is a much-needed addition to help keep all road users safe on one of the city's most important and busy corridors,” said SFBC Executive Director, Leah Shahum.

On November 1, 2013, the SFMTA will begin camera enforcement of illegal right turns at the intersection of eastbound Market Street at Octavia Boulevard, and will issue warning notices for an initial period of thirty days. After the thirty days, violation fines of $238 will be issued and a point will be added to a driver’s license.