The Dallas Police Department voiced its support for a proposed change to state law that would allow speed safety cameras and the issuance of speeding tickets by mail.

“We know that speed is one of the top contributing factors to fatal accidents everywhere in the state,” said Lt. Julio Gonzalez, according to NBC 5 DFW. “We want to be able to install speed safety cameras to have one more set of eyes on our roadways to make them safer.”

Safety cameras would enhance road safety measures without the need for an officer to be present. The measure could help DPD, which has been seriously understaffed for years.

DPD only has about 3,000 officers in the field, which falls considerably short of the 4,000 recommended by a prior City analysis. The Dallas City Council allocated DPD a budget of just $654 million this fiscal year, far less than the spending levels seen on public safety in other high-crime jurisdictions like Chicago and Los Angeles.

Data collected by the Department of Transportation for Dallas’ Vision Zero campaign showed that speed-related factors were the top contributing causes of crashes in Dallas between 2015 and 2023. Council members consequently called for increased police presence along the roadways. However, Chief of Police Eddie Garcia said the lack of staffing made it hard to do so.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we have,” said Garcia back in April.

The Federal Highway Administration reported that speed safety cameras can reduce the number of crashes by 54%. Mobile units with a camera in a vehicle can reduce injury and fatal crashes by 20%.

In New York City, fixed speeding units have reduced speeding in school zones by up to 63% during school hours.

Currently, the Texas Transportation Code makes speed safety cameras illegal. The potential change to the code is expected to be discussed in 2025 during the next regular state legislative session.

The topic is at the top of the DPD’s proposed legislative priorities.

The department’s other legislative priorities include creating a 10-year minimum sentence for aggravated assault of a peace officer, requesting funding for a childcare center at the new Dallas Police Training Facility, and creating a definition for “Less Lethal Devices” in the Texas Penal Code to ensure law enforcement agencies may utilize the latest and greatest life-saving technologies available.