Give speeding cameras a shot
Jun 06, 2012 | 2258 views | 0 0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol introduced legislation that, if passed, would allow the state to install a speeding camera on McGuinness Boulevard in North Brooklyn.

We think the state should seriously consider the measure, even though it has been reluctant in the past to utilize such technology.

Pedestrian fatalities have always been a serious problem in New York City. Busy thoroughfares like McGuiness Boulevard in Brooklyn and Queens Boulevard in Queens – with their long light-free stretches and multiple wide lanes - tend to promote speeding.

The issue is that the streets aren't highways, but instead are lined on both sides by residences. That means there are pedestrians crossing both streets, putting them in harm's way.

To its credit, the city has done a good job of trying to make the city safer for pedestrians over the past few years. Timing signals so that cars have to stop more often, using countdown signals, and giving pedestrians more time to cross busy streets have all been good and effective measures.

But more can be done.

Sure, there are issues – much like with the red-light cameras that snap photos of cars running through intersections against the light – that need to be worked out, namely the issue of these devices malfunctioning and ticketing the innocent.

But we think the speeding camera could be tried for a pilot period and see how it works. Let's see how many people it catches speeding on McGuiness Boulevard and just how fast they are going. The state wouldn't have to issue tickets for, say, a period of six months, but if the pilot period shows that there is a chronic problem, why shouldn't it be considered as a part of the solution?

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