San Jose to Install First Speeding Cameras in Late 2025

Beginning in late 2025, San Jose will place 33 cameras in high-collision areas throughout the city and mail tickets to speeding drivers.

Officials anticipate spending about a third of the $10.6 million budget for the project on data collection to show whether the cameras help reduce speeding collisions and to ensure that the project is equitable to communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.

Prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 645 in 2023, advocacy organizations like Human Rights Watch expressed concerns that surveillance infrastructure would generate fines on a massive scale and disproportionately impact communities of color without any commitments to decreasing traditional policing. AB 645 authorizes only six cities – San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco, along with the Southern California cities of Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach – to establish such speed safety pilots until 2032.

“With annual traffic deaths in San Jose having more than doubled from 29 in 2012 to a peak of 65 in 2022, providing safe and secure transportation systems is one of our top service priorities,” said City Manager Jennifer Maguire.

Most of the funding came from an $8.5 million grant from the Safe Streets and Roads for All program for a five-year pilot that will entail the acquisition, testing and evaluation of technology that detects speed and issues citations, as allowed under Assembly Bill 645.

To cover the entire $10.625 million budget, Colin Heyne, San Jose Department of Transportation public information manager, said the city is allocating $2.125 million in matching funds. The issue will be voted on by the city council in June.

The estimated cost of camera and backend equipment is $7 million, he said, with the remaining $3.625 million for data collection, public engagement and a racial equity analysis.

Heyne said the racial equity analysis will ensure that the cameras are established in high-injury areas in an equitable way.

“We can't cluster all our cameras in any neighborhood, and that's to avoid putting them all in low-income neighborhoods,” Heyne said. “This is going to let us work with a consultant or perhaps a university to study the impacts of these automatic citations.”

The city’s transportation team has already begun outreach to racial, social and environmental justice groups to discuss how to implement the project equitably, Heyne explained.

“We will learn if the program is disproportionately affecting communities of color or low-income households, and if so, how can we adjust the program so it's not doing that anymore,” he continued.

After analyzing speed and safety data and consulting with community groups, city staff will finalize a list of possible locations. That data will be presented to the San Jose City Council in fall before it issues requests for proposals to acquire the equipment and services for the project.

“We're expecting to turn the program on, flip the switch and get those cameras working by the end of 2025,” Heyne said.

Ticketing won’t begin right away, though. For the first 60 days of the program, drivers flagged as driving over the posted speed limit will receive a warning. Low-income drivers who have received a fine will have the option to provide community service hours instead of payment, Heyne said. State law requires any dollars generated from citations to be used for “traffic calming” measures, or methods designed to slow speeding traffic.

Overall data will be critical to seeing the program continue beyond the five-year pilot phase. The city is technically leasing the camera systems and must prove to the federal government through its final report that it achieved a 50 percent reduction in speeding during the pilot.

“At that point, it's going to be back in the hands of the California Legislature to decide if they're going to open up the use of speed cameras to more cities, make it statewide, allow us to enter a second pilot period, but we will no longer be able under the current law to operate our speed cameras system after 2032,” Heyne said.

“That's why there's so much importance in collecting data and making sure we agree with community members and advocates on what we're measuring and where we're measuring it to show clearly the impact of these cameras,” Heyne continued.

Heyne confirmed that local law enforcement will not have access to the camera footage to support criminal investigations, noting that AB 645 set regulations that strictly prohibits the use of the cameras for anything but enforcing speed limits.

“There's a very, very tight definition of how these cameras can be used -- who has access to the data. That will be outlined in the reports that we circulate to the public long before any of these cameras get installed,” he said, noting that opponents such as the ACLU were concerned about public privacy. “We hear those concerns, and we intend to fully comply with these data privacy provisions in the law.”

Aly Brown is a reporter with Bay City News.



  1. If taxpayer dollars are paying for these (which they are) and 10’s of millions are being allocated to this pilot project – the taxpayers should be obtaining the full benefit. Less traffic/vehicle accidents, speed and traffic flow violators being fined, and residents having the extra assistance from law enforcement (use of the camera footage) during crime investigations. If the bad people in/around our communities know they can be caught on camera – it very well may reduce crime too. These camera locations are key, costs of installation and equipment effect budgets and deficit of budgets, and the use of footage should definitely be used for everything possible-no limitations.

  2. What a good idea. Purposefully blind yourself to being able to locate or find a murderer, rapist, child molester, arsonist, domestic violence perpetrator, or robber because they were driving fast! Why not tie both hands of the cops behind their backs and make them wear an eye patch too! The California legislature hasn’t found a criminal they couldn’t coddle.

  3. I do not object to the speed cameras but I do object to shameless misrepresentation of data. Comparing 2012 to 2022 gives the false impression that traffic deaths are doubling every ten years. For example, there were 60 traffic deaths in 2015 but only 49 traffic deaths in 2023. Does that mean traffic deaths are trending down? Unfortunately no but it does illustrate how comparing two arbitrary years is a poor way to make a statistical argument.

  4. Unfortunately, San Jose is governed like the state and many localities now, beyond “progressive” [sic], bad enough already, to Woke, and concern about placement means politics before safety and placating certain (demographic and Democrat, “dem-Dem”) groups to avoid the possibility of Disparities™ in violations that are detected and processed, in deference to politics and a classic logical fallacy.

  5. Seems to me that red light cameras would do more to help. People putting down their cell phones and marijuana cigarettes would help too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *