New York City school zone speed cameras expiring due to inaction by state Senate

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City is ending its use of speed cameras to crack down on dangerous driving near schools after lawmakers in Albany didn't renew the program.

The safety program expires Wednesday, and the state senate is not giving any indications it will attempt to renew it.

City officials credit the devices with decreasing speeding violations in school zones, but state lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement on extending the use of the 120 cameras before they wrapped up their annual session last month.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, have urged lawmakers to reconvene to try again, blaming the Republican-led state Senate for the bill's failure. The legislation has already passed the Democrat-controlled state Assembly.

Cuomo said Wednesday that he would sign a bill extending usage of the cameras "within 15 minutes" of the state Senate passing the measure.

So far, Republicans have balked at the request to return, blaming Cuomo for the impasse.
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Derick Waller reports that the law expires at midnight.

State Senator Martin Golden held a rally Wednesday urging legislators back to Albany, one day after de Blasio and relatives of those killed in traffic accidents held a similar gathering.

The group included Judy Kottick, whose 23-year-old daughter was hit by a New York City bus in 2013.

The 140 cameras went up in 2014, and ever since then, pedestrian traffic deaths have dropped in New York City, even as deaths have surged nationwide.

"When you prioritize drivers over human lives, everyone is at risk every single day," de Blasio said. "We know speeding goes down because of the cameras, we know fatalities go down. The only people inconvenienced are the people already breaking the law."

There is a backlash nationwide against these types of cameras, with many feeling they are less about safety and more about generating revenue.

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