Currently, all 20 intersections where red light cameras are still installed in San Francisco are shut off and non-functional. Do what you want with that information.
If you’ve recently run a red light in San Francisco and noticed the cameras above you as you sailed through, whether or not it was your fault, you probably immediately felt a bit of dread. As per SFist and even the SF Chronicle in reports earlier this month all 20 red light camera systems at those intersections are NOT working and are non-functional at the moment. As a matter of fact, the cameras have been down since at least the beginning of the year back in January.
I've been asking the same question for years: "If running red lights is one of SF's Focus on Five violations, why is @sfmta_muni reducing the number of red light cameras since adopting @VisionZeroSF?!” And why even advocate for speed cameras?! @tweetsupa https://t.co/yy3vGwPuyM
— Kyle Grochmal (@KCGrock) April 10, 2019
The current camera system was installed in 1996 making these cameras a whopping 23 years old believe it or not. Did you know that these cameras, as of 2018, still used film? Inside each camera presumably is a giant roll of film supplied, unsurprisingly, by the Eastman Kodak film company. Unfortunately, for the city, while still functional most of the time, the cameras suffered frequent breakdowns and repairs, especially in inclement weather.
And, although some cities have seen little benefit from these cameras and, in some cases, saw an uptick in collisions from people trying to beat the cameras, San Francisco has seen some good out of them. According to the SF Municipal Transportation Agency,
“The SFMTA’s combined automated enforcement, engineering, and education efforts have resulted in a 66% citywide drop in injury collisions resulting from red-light running between 1996, when the Program was implemented, and 2017.”
Perhaps, since a good number of people driving through San Francisco are tourists or Bay Area residents not all to familiar with the area, these cameras catch red-light runners who have no idea where these cameras are and have no intention to beat red lights to begin with resulting in that uptick in collisions other cities saw.
SFMTA has not released a timeline when the new cameras will be up and running but they have listed the intersections where you can find the new-fangled digital systems when they doo.
Intersections to be upgraded with new equipment:
- 6th St at Bryant St (eastbound, southbound)
- 19th Ave at Sloat Blvd (northbound, southbound)
- Fell St at Masonic Ave (westbound)
- Hayes St at Polk St (southbound, westbound)
- Market St at Octavia Blvd (eastbound illegal right turns)
- Oak St at Octavia Blvd (eastbound, northbound, eastbound right-turn lanes will be newly enforced)
- Park Presidio Blvd at Lake St (southbound)
- So. Van Ness Ave at 14th St (northbound)
Intersections to be newly enforced:
- 4th St at Harrison St (southbound, westbound)
- 6th St at Folsom St (southbound)
- 8th St at Folsom St (southbound)
- Divisadero St at Bush St (northbound)
- Van Ness Ave at Broadway (southbound left turn lanes)
Expect for these new cameras to be up and running by Summer 2019. For now, if you run a red light by accident, see the cameras, and, as Jeremy Clarkson says, “a bit of poo came out” worry not, they’re not on…yet.