Legislative Gazette: Bill would put speed cameras across NYC

March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013 : By Amanda Conto

Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Greenwich Village, voiced support for legislation that would establish a pilot program to enforce maximum speed limits by means of "speed cameras," in New York City.

The legislation (A.4327) was introduced earlier this year by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan. Sen. Andrew Lanza, R-Great Kills, is expected to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

"I'm proud to add my strong support to this long-overdue bipartisan legislation. The data is clear: speed cameras save lives. They are a critical law enforcement tool and we'll never get to zero traffic deaths without them," said Hoylman.

The New York City Council recently passed a resolution supporting this legislation, which seeks speed cameras to augment traffic enforcement and improve safety for all road users. The legislation would permit a pilot program of 20 to 40 cameras positioned where they are needed most.

These areas include intersections with high crash rates, areas near schools and senior centers and generally where the worst offenders go to speed.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2011, the year for which most recent data is available, there were 3,509 speed-related vehicular crashes in New York City, including 55 fatal incidents.

A study by Transportation Alternatives titled, "Slowing Speeds, Saving Lives: The Case for Automated Speed Cameras in NYC," explains the chance of death when struck by a car at 40 mph is 70 percent, at 30 mph, 40 percent and at 25 mph the chance of death is 25 percent.

The same study also states that the red light camera enforcement program has already shown that automated enforcement can work and feel speed cameras are the next logical step.

This legislation has been referred to the Transportation Committee and the fiscal implications have not been determined.

"As NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly recently noted, motorists know there will never be a sufficient number of police officers to catch everyone who violates the traffic laws. Without the deterrence of speed cameras, they will continue to play the lottery with law enforcement, and with the safety of other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists," said Hoylman. "We need speed cameras now."