Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver joined with Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper and Assemblymember Deborah Glick today to announce the passage of 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 a viable solution to help reduce traffic fatalities and crack down on reckless drivers, especially in school zones," said Silver. "Passing this legislation brings us one step closer to ensuring the safety of our children as they travel to and from school. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly so we can bring this critical piece of legislation to the governor's desk and expand the use of speed-sensitive cameras in our communities as soon as possible."
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.
"Today we've sent a message loud and clear that careless drivers who put our children at risk will not be tolerated," Hooper said. "Speed cameras will help keep drivers accountable for the safety of our children and the safety of our families. This much-needed initiative will save lives and prevent families from suffering as a result of a tragic traffic-related fatality."
"The simple act of slowing down saves the lives of pedestrians and protects our children and most vulnerable community members," Glick said. "Speed cameras will help keep drivers accountable and help law enforcement officials to more ably crack down on reckless drivers. We have the tools and the resources to make sure that all pedestrians in New York City are safe. It makes sense that we implement this common-sense, life-saving measure as soon as possible."
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.