Speedy return of cameras

This week, both houses the New York State Legislature passed legislation to increase the number of speed cameras in New York City school zones. The Assembly also passed a bill to establish a demonstration school-zone speed camera program in Buffalo.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick sponsored the New York City speed-camera legislation and Richard Gottfried was a co-sponsor.  In the state Senate, Brad Hoylman was a sponsor.

An advocate held up a photo of her child, who was killed by a car, at a rally for speed cameras last year. Photo by Lincoln Anderson

In New York City, speed cameras  are placed in school zones to protect students by photographing the license plates of speeding vehicles. The speed cameras can be operated from an hour before the school day to an hour after. The speed cameras can be operated during nights and weekends when school-related activities are taking place.

According to a 2014 study by the city’s Department of Transportation, school zones with speed cameras reported a 63 percent decrease in area speeding and a 15 percent reduction in crashes compared to those without it.

There are now 140 cameras installed in New York City. The bill passed this week would expand the speed cameras program to 750. There are roughly 1,700 schools in the city.  

The law will need to be renewed by July 1, 2022. It was disgraceful that the speed-camera program became inoperative due to Republican stonewalling in Albany. Now the Democrats have control of both houses of the Legislature, an important program has been restored. This is just one example of why it was so critical to break the partisan gridlock in Albany. It only took a few months, with Democrats in control, to restore the cameras. Looks like the adults are back in control. 

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