Starting on July 11, New York City will bring to life an extensive expansion to their school-zone speed camera program.
This program is part of the Vision Zero initiative. According to their website, the Vision Zero plan is the, “… foundation for ending traffic deaths and injuries on our streets.”
The school-zone speed camera program will double the number of hours and days operated by the cameras. This allows the cameras to operate year-round on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., whereas previously they were only allowed to operate during school hours.
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Not only will the hours be doubled, but the cameras will also maximize their distance from the school, which allows the area to be canvassed better for violators. Violators will still be fined $50 if they are exceeding the speed limits more than 10 mph.
These cameras will be installed in high-crash areas around the five boroughs. Some locations of these cameras will include: Flatbush Avenue (Brooklyn), Grand Concourse (Bronx), Northern Boulevard (Queens), 1st avenue (Manhattan) and Hylan Boulevard (Staten Island).
The press release issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said, “...that over the next two years, DOT [ Department of Transportation] would rapidly substantially scale up its speed-camera program, installing new cameras Citywide at a rate of about 40 per month through 2019, and 60 per month in 2020, expecting to reach each of the law’s maximum 750 school zones by June, 2020 (zones can have multiple cameras). He also announced that a public education campaign would alert New York City drivers of these major changes to the law.”
The release also stated that “Our streets are about to get a lot safer for our children. We fought to expand our speed camera program and we won in Albany. Now it’s time to rapidly scale up our program to save lives and keep our kids safe,”
Mayor de Blasio is not the only one speaking out about Vision Zero. New York State officials have shared words of support and encouragement for this program.
New York City is the first city in the United States to implement a program like this. It has been successful in combating drive down fatalities for the past five years, and officials hope to see it's continued success. In a speech Friday, Mayor de Blasio remarked that, "When you compare this last year, 2018, to five years earlier in 2013, the number of lives saved, you know - 2013 was a tough year and we've been getting better every year since – if you add up all the lives saved because we don't - we haven't continued on that horrible pace that was set in 2013. We've made things better each year through Vision Zero. That is the equivalent of saving 347 lives – 347 lives saved."