As School Year Begins, Mayor de Blasio and Senate Co-Leader Klein Announce Expansion of Speed Enforcement Cameras Near Schools

September 2, 2014

Video available at: http://youtu.be/sZRoNeG4qss

First cameras for the additional 120 locations authorized by the state this year to be installed; 20 existing cameras have been enforcing speed limits near schools with summer activities

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and New York State Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein today announced the expanded installation of speed cameras citywide near schools, as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan. The announcement was made outside P.S. 95, located at the intersection of Sedgwick and Hillman Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, an area classified by DOT as a high-crash corridor.

Combating speeding on New York City streets is a major goal of Vision Zero. Speeding drivers kill more New Yorkers than drunk drivers and drivers distracted by cell phones combined. Nearly one in three people killed in New York City traffic is killed by a speeding driver.

"Our kids are going to be safer walking to school and coming home because of this new enforcement. We are sending a powerful message that we take safety near our schools seriously, and we will enforce the law to keep children safe. We are incredibly grateful to leaders like Senator Klein, Speaker Silver, Senator Stewart-Cousins and Governor Cuomo, who have given us the tools we need to protect the streets around our schools," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The facts are clear—when drivers think they may get caught speeding, they slow down—and we know that even five miles an hour can make a difference in saving a life," said Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein. "I was proud to lead the fight for Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero plan in Albany and look forward to our continued work together in making pedestrian safety a priority. By installing dozens more speed cameras in traffic hotspots throughout the city, and most importantly, near schools, we send a strong message to reckless drivers and ensure that our students and families stay safe heading into this new school year."

"The additional 120 intersections we can equip with speed cameras gives students an advantage when school returns Thursday," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Thanks to the leadership of the Mayor, the Governor, and legislative leaders in Albany, these proven deterrents to speeding will make our children safer."

In preparation for the school year beginning this Thursday, September 4, DOT has been installing the first speed cameras authorized by the state law passed this spring and will continue on a rolling basis, until the 140 total school speed zones permitted by law are reached. DOT began camera enforcement in January 16, 2014 and has since built the program up to 20 operational cameras for the year, thus far issuing nearly 183,000 violations citywide.

DOT deployed cameras during the summer months near schools with summer activities, but with the school year about to begin, any school meeting the requirements of the law could potentially receive fixed or mobile speed camera enforcement. DOT is permitted to place cameras within a quarter mile of a corridor passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school on the corridor. The cameras are only active on school days during school hours, one hour before and one hour after the school day, as well as during student activities at the school, and 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after school activities.  

"Families for Safe Streets is here to say that deaths in traffic in New York are preventable and ludicrous. No one should know the pain I know from losing a sister. We need more speed cameras, we need consistent and predictable enforcement, and we need continued leadership by our elected officials to achieve our collective goal of Vision Zero," said Greg Thompson Jr., a founding member of Families for Safe Streets.

"With children across the city returning to schools, we remind drivers to protect the most vulnerable people on our streets by maintaining a safe speed," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "Speeding is the number one killer in New York City traffic, causing more fatalities than drunk driving and cell phone use at the wheel combined. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, Senator Klein and others, the City is now able to deploy more automated enforcement cameras to deter speeding in school zones around the five boroughs."

The de Blasio administration achieved two major legislative victories this year in Albany related to Vision Zero: the expansion of the speed camera program from 20 to 140 locations, and the reduction of the city’s default citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour.

With the Governor signing the 25 miles per hour law, and the City Council prepared to act on the required local law, New Yorkers of all ages and communities stand to benefit this fall from the City's focus on reducing speeds and saving lives. The leadership in both houses of the legislature in Albany and at the New York City Council has been great partners in making these efforts a reality. For more information about DOT’s ongoing efforts to improve safety on New York City's streets, roadways and bridges, including Vision Zero, visit nyc.gov/dot.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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