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Speed Safety Cameras

Project Introduction

Speed safety cameras are a proven tool to address excessive speeding and reduce severe and fatal injury traffic collisions. With the passage of AB 645, San Francisco can now utilize this life-saving technology to slow down speeding vehicles on our streets.

Project Timeline 
System Planning
System Design & Construction
System Operations Begin
Project Status

Why is San Francisco installing speed safety cameras?

In San Francisco, unsafe speed is one of the most common primary collision factors in crashes that result in injuries. Speeding is dangerous for myriad reasons: a driver's field of vision is narrowed, reducing the likelihood that potential hazards can be seen and avoided, and drivers have less time to react and maneuver out of dangerous situations when travelling at higher speeds. Safely negotiating curves is also compromised.

It takes a vehicle a longer distance to stop for a hazard in the road the faster it is travelling. In the event of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian or bicyclist, the vehicle's speed will largely determine the survivability of the crash. A person hit by a car traveling 20 mph has a 9 in 10 chance of surviving while a person hit by a car traveling at 40 mph only has a 2 in 10 chance of surviving.

Speed Graphic

How many speed cameras are coming to San Francisco?

The state law allows a proportional number of cameras to the city’s population. For San Francisco, there will be 33 locations with speed safety camera systems. 

Where will the speed cameras be located?

The law states that speed cameras can be placed on high-injury streets, in school zones, or on streets with a documented history of sideshows. In San Francisco, the cameras will all be located on the High Injury Network, the 12% of San Francisco streets that account for more than 68% of traffic-related severe injuries or fatalities. The cameras will be geographically dispersed among all 11 districts, in areas with a ride range of socioeconomic characteristics. All locations of speed safety cameras will be publicly posted, and camera locations will not change without advance notice.

What speed will trigger a notification of violation? 

The state law specifies this; any speeding 11 miles per hour or over the posted speed limit would trigger a violation. Notifications of violations will be mailed to the registered owner of the speeding vehicle within two weeks of the violation.

When will the cameras be turned on? 

The cameras will begin issuing violations in 2025, but there are many steps that must be completed before then. Here’s what the lead-up to cameras being activated looks like: 

  • Late 2023: Finalize data collection on the High-Injury Network to determine camera locations. The recommended list of 33 camera locations will be released in early 2024. 

  • Early 2024: Secure multiple project approvals through the SFMTA Board of Directors and the Board of Supervisors, including:

    • Project-specific legislation: In order to select a single vendor for the design, construction, and operation of a camera system, the Board of Supervisors must approve an exception to the Administrative Code. This project-specific legislation will enable the project to pursue a DBOM (design/build/operate/maintain) contract.

    • Surveillance authorization: In order to add a new type of surveillance technology in San Francisco, a System Use Policy and a System Impact Report must be approved by the Committee on Information Technology (COIT) and the Board of Supervisors. Once the Board of Supervisors approves these documents, staff can begin the contracting process.

  • Mid to Late 2024: SFMTA issues an RFQ/RFP, selects a vendor to implement camera technology and operate the camera system, and negotiates a contract. The chosen vendor designs and builds 33 camera system sites throughout the city.

  • Early 2025: Construction concludes. A month-long public education campaign kicks off. Cameras are calibrated and tested.

  • 2025: Once cameras are activated, the first two months of system operations will issue warning notices to speeding vehicles. After 60 days, cameras will begin issuing fines to speeding vehicles.