New York City to rotate speed cameras after school zone program expires

Thursday, July 26, 2018
New York City to rotate speed cameras after school zone program expires
Political reporter Dave Evans has more on the NYPD's strategy to deploy 20 remaining speed cameras.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City will rotate its remaining speed cameras to keep up pressure on dangerous drivers after a program that put more than 100 of the devices in school zones expired Wednesday.

After lawmakers in Albany failed to renew the program, 120 of the city's 140 cameras went offline. But the NYPD said Thursday it has a strategy to deploy the 20 remaining speed cameras -- including rotating them around schools.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the remaining cameras, which are all portable, will be moved from school to school for the next month until they expire.

He said the fixed cameras will continue to collect data that the city will analyze moving forward, but they will no longer be issuing summonses.

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 de Blasio urged lawmakers to reconvene to try again, blaming the Republican-led state Senate for the bill's failure. The legislation had 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.

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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