May 22, 2017 By Jason Cohen
The city will be able to add 610 speed cameras in school zones—in addition to the existing 140–should a bill introduced by state Senator Jose Peralta (Jackson Heights) last Monday become law.
“This bill will save lives and make our streets safer for everyone,” Peralta said in a statement. “Every day, more than one million children, teachers and parents travel to and from school, so we must ensure we deter drivers from speeding to keep everyone safe.”
Peralta and advocates in support of the bill say the pilot program that allowed for the installation of 140 speed cameras approved in 2013 has been successful.
Between 2014 and 2016, there has been a 63 percent decline in speeding violations issued at a school zone camera location.
Additionally, 81 percent of motorists who received a violation for speeding in school areas have not received a second ticket. Injuries to pedestrians, motorists and cyclists have declined by a 13 percent average at locations where cameras are located despite the fact that the cameras are turned off during weekends and nights.
The cameras will be in operation from 6 a.m.to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The use of these speed monitoring devices around city schools is limited to periods surrounding school hours and times of student activities.
Additionally, the bill calls for the implementation of warning signs within 300 feet of a camera, and it would require that a camera cannot be placed within 300 feet of a highway exit. The new legislation would expire on July 1, 2022.
“New Yorkers overwhelmingly support more speed enforcement cameras near schools to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “In a citywide poll, 84 percent of all respondents support placing speed enforcement cameras near more city schools than the 140 locations currently allowed under state law.”
Peralta’s bill is being introduced in the assembly by Manhattan Democrat Deborah Glick. It is also being co-sponsored in the Senate by Jeffrey Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.