April 7, 2016 By Michael Florio
Local politicians are looking to increase the use of speed cameras around schools.
State Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker unveiled legislation on Thursday that would crack down on speeding through the use of additional speed cameras.
The legislation aims to increase the number of school zones where speed cameras can be placed as well as lengthen the hours in which they can operate. In addition, the legislation calls for suspending the registration of a vehicle if it racks up five or more traffic camera violations.
The legislation would get rid of the time limitations that speed cameras installed to monitor school zones can operate. Currently, the use of these cameras is limited to periods when schools are open.
The cameras are able to operate from one hour before school starts until one hour after schools let out. They are also able to operate during student activities, up to 30 minutes before and after the events take place.
Peralta’s legislation would also expand the use of the cameras, eliminating the 140 school maximum allowed in New York City that is currently in place.
“Clearly, installing speed cameras in school zones has been a successful initiative,” he said.
“To make this even more effective, we should do away with these senseless restrictions on times of operation and the number of cameras that may be in use,” he added. “Accidents, especially preventable accidents, can occur at any time of the day, any day of the week”
When first installed in early 2014 the speed cameras issued 192 violations per day, but by September of 2015 the number dropped to an average of 69 per day, according to the Department of Transportation.
Legislation would also target those drivers who frequently speed. Any vehicle that receives five traffic camera violations in a year would have its vehicle registration suspended for six months.
“This penalizes habitually dangerous drivers who create unnecessary risks in our communities,” DenDekker said. “These bills help keep Queens, and all of New York, a safe place for pedestrians.”