March 31, 2014

Assembly Bill Would Expand Use of Speed Sensitive Cameras in School Speed Zones

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver joined with Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper as well as Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Robert Sweeney today to announce legislation (A.9206) to help law enforcement identify speeding vehicles in school speed zones through the use of high-tech cameras. The legislation would provide authorization for use of the state-of-the-art technology in Nassau and Suffolk counties and would expand the use of speed sensitive cameras in New York City.

"Speed cameras are an effective tool that will help us to clamp down on motorists who violate speed limits in school zones," said Silver. "By authorizing the use of this technology, we are sending a clear message that the Assembly Majority will no longer tolerate careless drivers who put our children at risk."

The bill is intended to make roads near schools safer by supplementing the enforcement efforts of local police departments. Last year, New York City established a demonstration program which included the installation of cameras in 20 school speed zones throughout the five boroughs. This measure will allow New York City to increase the number of speed sensitive cameras in use to 140, authorize 56 speed cameras for use in Nassau County and 69 in Suffolk County. Authorization for the demonstration programs for all three municipalities will sunset in 2018.

"Speed cameras are highly effective at holding drivers accountable and decreasing speeding violations, especially in an increasingly congested environment such as New York City," Glick said. "More cameras mean safer streets, plain and simple. This is an important initiative that will benefit every type of city-goer, whether they are walking down the street, riding their bike to school or driving to work."

"This legislation helps address the speeding and otherwise reckless driving behavior that is still rampant on our streets, particularly in school zones," Hooper said. "These actions put safety of our children and families in jeopardy every day. Increasing the number of speed cameras on our streets will keep drivers accountable and help prevent tragic and entirely avoidable traffic-related injuries and fatalities."

"Expanding the use of speed cameras keeps our streets safer and helps prevent the tragic traffic-related fatalities that we still hear of far too often," Sweeney said. "Enacting this legislation would send a strong message to drivers who still continue to engage in reckless driving behavior, that their speeding will not be tolerated at the expense of the safety and well-being of our children and our families."

Registered owners of vehicles identified by the speed sensitive cameras will be subject to a fine of up to $50. Failure to pay can result in an additional fine of $25.

The technology called for in this measure involves the use of photographic, micro-photographic and video electronic devices that are currently being used in Utah, California, Arizona and British Columbia, Canada.