Sept. 4, 2019 By Allie Griffin
With New York City public schools opening tomorrow, the NYPD is ramping up its traffic safety enforcement, with more speed cameras being installed and additional cops assigned to write tickets.
The city began adding cameras in July in an effort to rapidly expand its anti-speeding enforcements and in that month alone more than 198,000 speeding violations were issued through the cameras.
“With schools reopening, we’re doubling down on our effort to protect the most vulnerable among us: our kids,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said today as he announced the increased enforcement.
The number of speed camera zones has increased from 240 at the beginning of July to 360 at the end of August. The program is expected to reach 750 school zones by June 2020, with each zone having multiple cameras.
To reach that goal, the Department of Transportation plans to install about 40 to 60 new speed cameras per month costing a total of $62 million.
In addition, the speed cameras now operate all year-round during the week between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. including during summer and school breaks. That’s about double the amount of hours the cameras were previously active, as they only issued tickets during school hours.
Throughout the month of September, schools and their surrounding areas will have a great police presence as well. Additional officers will be dedicated to enforcing violations for speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, texting while driving and illegal cell phone use.
“With more officers patrolling around schools and hundreds of new speed cameras coming on line in the months ahead, reckless drivers will hear one thing loud and clear: slow down or pay the price,” de Blasio said.
“The NYPD wants to wish all students, parents, and school staff a safe, productive, and happy school year,” said Thomas Chan, the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation, at today’s announcement. “In order to help realize that wish, the Police Department will take the steps necessary to protect our children as they return to school, and to ensure that drivers understand that driving dangerously has serious consequences.”
Busy intersections with a history of high numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries will also be targeted as areas of increased enforcement.
“Coupled with the speed camera enforcement, we expect that our efforts will help deter the bad driving behaviors which all too often have been the cause of traffic collisions that have produced not only injuries, but deaths,” Chan said.