NEW YORK—School zone speeders beware; cameras will soon be watching your speed.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation permitting New York City speed cameras in 20 school zones. The cameras will operate much like the red-light program already in place, with car owners (not necessarily the drivers) getting tickets in the mail for violating the law.
“These cameras will supplement efforts by law enforcement to root out speeding violations in these protected areas, and encourage drivers to use caution when driving through school zones,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Overall, this will contribute to a safer school environment for our students.”
According to state law, fines for speeding in a school zone are between $60 and $200 for going up to 10 m.p.h. over the limit, and up to $800 if exceeding the limit by 30 m.p.h. These fines only apply if physically pulled over by an officer.
The fines for speed camera violations are subject to slightly different rules. Tickets from the speed cameras in school zones may not exceed $50, according to the statement.
The permit for the pilot program will last five years, after which a report must be submitted to the governor and State Legislature to determine the effectiveness of the program, at which time they could determine an expansion of the program.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will determine the location of the cameras, and how many cameras will be placed per zone. A March 2013 report by the DOT analyzed crash data in and around the city’s 1,471 schools.
The DOT documented speeding within a quarter mile of a school at 100 locations, spread across all five boroughs. Speed limits in school zones vary by location, but are typically 15-20 miles per hour.
A spokesperson for the DOT said they would begin installing the cameras in September and the locations would be based on the research from the March report.
“The cameras are mobile so we’ll be able to move them around and address high-speed locations that may change over time,” Sadik-Khan told WNYC in a June 25 article.
School begins for New York City public school children on September 9, 2013.