In 2014, the city began a pilot program to add speed cameras to 140 school zones. Four years later, the results in are.
Crashes have dropped, on average, nearly 8 percent in those school zones, while crashes with injuries have fallen 15 percent.
Fewer drivers, pedestrians and cyclists were injured during this period. The city estimates that speeding dropped 63 percent at these locations during school hours.
It’s clear that speed cameras are working, so why is Albany stalling to extend and expand this program?
The pilot program is set to expire this month, and unless state lawmakers and the governor act, the city will lose a tool that have kept more children safe.
Proposed legislation in the State Legislature would not only extend the program until 2022, but also add 150 more school zones. The bill would also expand the definition of a school zone to include streets near a school.
Some opponents claim speed cameras are just ticket traps, serving as a cash cow for the city to fill its coffers. But we should not prioritize our pocketbooks over the safety of our children.
In the words of Amy Cohen, who lost her son Sammy to a deadly driver in 2013, the fine is a “modest $50 for engaging in deadly behavior.”
Albany needs to listen to Cohen and the rest of the members of Families for Safe Streets, an organization of advocates who have all lost loved ones to traffic-related deaths.
They don’t want any other parent or family member to join their ranks, and neither should our lawmakers.
Do the right thing and give New York City the tools to slow down drivers near our schools before it’s too late.