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Legislative analyst says installing vehicle speed sensors 'has merit'

January 27, 2010 | 11:30 am
The Legislature’s chief nonpartisan budget analyst recommended today that lawmakers approve Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to install radar sensors on red-light cameras to ticket speeding drivers.

The plan, unveiled in Schwarzenegger’s January budget, would ticket those zooming through intersections up to 15 mph over the speed limit $225. Those driving even faster would be fined $325.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office today said the proposal to add speed-detectors to 500 existing red-light cameras “has merit.”

The proposal, the analyst said, provides “an additional option to further improve traffic safety while potentially providing a fiscal benefit to the state and local governments.”

Schwarzenegger's budget predicted the cameras would fill California’s empty coffers with about $337.9 million through June 2011. The analyst was less confident about that figure, suggesting fewer cameras would likely be installed and some fines would fail to be collected.

Still, the endorsement provides a boost to the plan. On Tuesday, the analyst criticized Schwarzenegger's proposal for a constitutional amendment requiring more money be spent on higher education than prisons.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento