SAN FRANCISCO—Legislation was passed on Tuesday, June 14 by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which will require about 80 percent of the city’s vehicle fleet to install black boxes also known as telematics, to hold city workers accountable for their driving.
Legislation proposed by Supervisor Norman Yee was passed unanimously. This new legislation comes in the aftermath of recent high-profile fatal collisions which have involved city vehicles or vehicles that are contracted with the city.
Supervisor Yee indicated to Breitbart that, “We will know what you’re doing, will know where you’re going, and we will now how fast you’re going.”
He wrote on his Twitter, “Installing #telematics in City fleet will help prevent traffic collisions. #visionZero @walksf @sfbike @SD_ACTION.”
According to KQED, the recent crashes include the death of 38-year-old Thu Phan, who was killed trying to cross Market Street in her wheelchair. Last week, 86-year-old Lurilla Harris was killed by a paratransit driver in a city-contracted vehicle.
Breitbart describes telematics as “a network of wireless devices, which includes black box technologies, that conveys data back to the source organization in real time. Telematics technology has reportedly been successful in reducing accidents in congested cities like London and New York.”
Supervisor Yee held a press conference at City Hall. He explained that his passion on the issue comes from his own personal experience of being hit by a driver while walking. During the press conference, he recalled his traumatic experience of being hit the day after Christmas in 2006 and being critically injured.
“Not only did they think I would not live, but they thought I would never walk again,” said Yee. He recovered, but occasionally deals with pain and cramps. “It didn’t just impact me, but it impacted my family, my friends and everybody around me.”
According to Breitbart, to install the technology will reportedly cost the city around $1.3 million, and $1.8 million to maintain on an annual basis. According to Breitbart, the installation of this new technology could help reduce costs in the long run. Nearly $77 million was reportedly paid in city vehicle-related legal claims over the last five years.
The current legislation does not cover vehicles that are contracted with the the re city. According to KQED, the legislation is part of the city’s Vision Zero efforts to achieve zero traffic deaths by 2024.