Albany votes to install speed cameras in NYC school zones

Photo by Flickr user PixelBrain.
Photo by Flickr user PixelBrain.

New York State lawmakers have approved legislation intended to cut down on speeding-related deaths by installing cameras in a number of school zones across the city.

The bill gives the green light for the first-ever use of speed cameras at 20 locations with known speeding problems. The boxy cameras take pictures of speeding motorists, which are then used to issue violations. The bill authorizes $50 fines for dangerous speeding. A spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told the New York Times the governor would sign the measure, which was approved in an all-night session that went into the early hours of Saturday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who publicly railed against lawmakers back in March when it appeared that the bill would fail, hailed its passage in a statement on Saturday.

“If a driver strikes a child at 40 miles per hour, there is a 70 percent chance the child will be killed. At 30 miles per hour, there is an 80 percent chance the child survive,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “Decreasing the number of drivers who speed is a proven life-saving measure – and this legislation, which will place speed cameras at 20 key locations throughout our city, will ensure that we continue to protect some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Speeding is the greatest single factor in traffic deaths in New York City, contributing to 81 fatal collisions in 2012 – roughly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities.

“The Legislature has clearly stated that the streets around our schools should be safe havens, not speed traps,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said. “Speed cameras will help put a freeze frame on the number-one killer on our city’s roads.”

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports



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