Speed Camera Pilot Program Not Extended in NYC
New York City may soon see speed cameras turned off near schools after the state legislature failed to approve their continued use.
The state Assembly and Senate went into summer recess last Wednesday without finalizing any bills that would extend the speed camera program, and now the mayor is calling on residents to contact their representatives in Albany to ask them to hold a special session on the cameras.
“Why don’t you put in stop signs and stop lights and that’ll solve the problem,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, reiterating what senators have asked him. “If stop signs and stop lights had stopped speeding, it would have been something we’d have known about a long long time ago… What has actually stopped speeding is speed cameras.”
Since 2013, the mayor said they have decreased the number of injuries near schools by 17 percent, and reduced speeding violations by 60 percent. They have also helped fill the city’s coffers. In five years, the cameras have accumulated $122 million in speeding tickets, reports Pix 11.
The cameras kick in when drivers go 11 mph or more over the speed limit, and each violation costs the driver $50.
Opponents of the cameras say the cameras aren’t reliable and are only an excuse to get more money from taxpayers.
The city started with 20 school zones in 2013 as a five-year pilot, increasing up to 140 zones today.
The pilot program will expire at the end of the month unless the state legislature votes to extend the program.
Both the Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker have said they don’t anticipate holding a special session on the matter, Fox 5 reports.
The state Assembly passed a bill that would not only extend the program but would expand it, but no bill passed in the Senate.
Lawmakers won’t be back in session till 2019.