Keeping students safe is a priority and the city wants to keep it that way.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Members Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) and Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) were among a number of elected officials, city agency heads and Vision Zero Advocates that stood on the steps of city hall yesterday to demand leaders in Albany include an expansion of New York City’s school zone speed enforcement camera program in the final state budget by April 1.
The school zone speed camera program is set expire in June as the city and local advocates are looking to extend the program and even make major improvements. Specifically, the city is calling on Albany to:
- Authorize the City to install speed cameras at an additional 150 school zones—more than double the current number.
- Revise the definition of a school zone to allow DOT to address speeding on streets that are near a school, as opposed to only the street or streets on which a school is located.
- Extend the program until 2022
“New Yorkers are tired of asking for the same thing year after year and getting nothing in return. How many more people must be killed before Albany passes common sense legislation proven to save lives? Enough is enough. The time is now to extend and expand our speed cameras program – we cannot afford to wait another day,” said de Blasio.
Following this month’s crash that claimed the lives of two children in Park Slope, the city is also pushing reforms in Albany that will escalate fines and suspend the vehicle registrations of repeat speeding and red-light running offenders, and require physicians to notify the DMV following medical events that could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
“What part of making sure drivers don’t speed near our schools would anyone disagree with? We cannot let politics get in the way of pedestrian safety. Speed cameras near schools are a proven way to calm traffic and save lives. This is a common sense plea to improve safety for children and pedestrians once and for all. Albany must pass speed safety camera legislation in the budget and expand the school zone program,” said Brannan.
Treyger said the numbers are clear, and they are distressing: while speeding, injuries, and fatalities are down in school zones where speed cameras have been installed, the majority of traffic-related tragedies involving children occur where or when the city cannot operate cameras.
“When it comes to protecting the health and safety of our children, every tool and resource must be made available,” said Treyger.