CORONA — Drivers who get five or more camera violation tickets in a year could lose the registration to their car for up to six months under a new bill pushed in the assembly, part of a package that aims to increase pedestrian safety.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, would increase penalties against drivers and car owners who run a red light or speed — upping the consequences from the current ticketing system, the assemblyman said.
The current system of sending a $50 ticket in the mail when a driver goes through a red light, speed or bus lane camera "doesn't stop the owner to continually break the law," he said.
Under the bill, the owner of the car would lose his or her registration for six months, regardless of who was driving when the tickets were issued.
"We hold the registered owner financially responsible for that vehicle breaking the motor vehicle law," DenDekker added.
The push for more serious enforcement of camera violations is a reversal from DenDekker's previous stance on Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero pedestrian safety initiatives, which DenDekker said did "nothing" for safety.
DenDekker said he prefers police enforcement but has since recognized that cameras were indeed encouraging people to slow down.
The bill is one of three set to be introduced in the senate and assembly before the sessions end in June.
Sen. Jose Peralta is introducing two bills to expand rules on school zone cameras to allow them to operate 24/7 and also lift the cap on how many can be installed.
Cameras in school zones are currently only activated when school is in session. There is also a 140 camera cap.
Peralta wants the cameras to be on around the clock, and wants to install them in every school zone — while also pushing to expand them past their current 2018 expiration.
"Accidents, especially preventable accidents, can occur at any time of the day, any day of the week," he said.
Expanding the time of speed cameras was something de Blasio discussed at a Vision Zero update in January.
The bills — which require votes and passage in the senate and assembly to be made into laws — have been discussed with the city and have their support, Peralta said.
"Our goal with this legislation is to save lives," he said.