Yee resubmits double-fine zone legislation

Despite three failed attempts, state Sen. Leland Yee is confident his latest bill to impose a double-fine zone on the dangerous stretch of Highway 1 in San Francisco will win the approval of state legislators.

The new pedestrian safety measure would double the amount of base fines for traffic violations on the 19th Avenue-Park Presidio corridor, which operates as state Highway 1 and acts as a connecting point for Marin and San Francisco counties.

Over the last four years, Yee, who formally introduced his new legislation Friday at the Taraval Police Station, has seen his attempts to enforce safety measures on the 19th Avenue-Park Presidio corridor spurned either by veto from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger or opposition at state committee levels.

However, Yee said he is confident about the latest incarnation of the bill because this measure has a five-year limit. Once that time period has expired, the California Department of Transportation will monitor data on the plan to investigate its effectiveness. It would go into effect Jan. 1.

According to Yee, Schwarzenegger and leaders from the Assembly and Senate transportation committees have offered their support for the revised bill. The double-fine zone would specifically take place on Highway 1 between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Lake Street, according to Yee.

The base fines make up only a portion of the total ticket amount of driving infractions. For example, a speeder traveling 16 to 25 mph over the limit would currently face a $50 base fine, plus $125 in additional state, county and court costs, adding up to a total of $175. With Yee’s double-fine legislation, that amount would increase to $225. The total cost of a reckless driving infraction, with a current base fine of $500, would increase from $1,750 to $2,250 if the legislation is approved.

The bill will go before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in a few weeks, according to Yee.

The 19th Avenue-Park Presidio corridor has long been the subject of ire for pedestrian safety advocates, who say the 35 mph speed limit is too fast and there are not enough traffic signal countdowns.

Next month, Caltrans will begin construction on a $4 million plan to install traffic safety upgrades at 10 intersections along 19th Avenue.

wreisman@examiner.com

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