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New York City Council Member Makes the Case for Comprehensive Traffic Monitoring

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New York City has made great strides toward reducing traffic fatalities, but that progress is at risk due to a lack of support from the state government. Ben Kallos, a member of the New York City Council representing the Upper East Side, recently wrote an op-ed calling for improved traffic monitoring. Not only did Kallos demand the reauthorization of the expired Vision Zero initiative, but he made the case for New York City to dramatically expand its traffic monitoring efforts.

Council Member Kallos began by listing New York’s past successes in traffic monitoring. He credits the city’s Red Light Camera program, instituted in 1994, with reducing severe traffic injuries by as much as 76 percent. New York has since attempted to expand on that progress, notably through its adoption of the Vision Zero program. This initiative placed 140 cameras in school zones, which monitored cars to make sure they were obeying the speed limit.

Unfortunately, the Vision Zero program relied on support from the state government, which had to authorize its use of cameras. The state legislature failed to renew this authorization after it expired in July, in part because legislators from Brooklyn and other boroughs expressed opposition to having cameras in their communities.

Not only does Kallos support reauthorizing the program, but he believes New York should expand its use of cameras. Citing his constituents’ consistent calls for “increased traffic enforcement,” he suggests that local officials should place traffic cameras at every location where people have been killed or injured or where violations have occurred. Kallos is aware of the high cost of these cameras, which run between $67,000 and $80,000 per intersection, but believes that they are a net benefit, both economically and morally. He has also pledged $1 million from his office to help cover the cost of installation.

Kallos is sensitive to the fact that some officials don’t want cameras in their communities, but believes they will eventually realize the benefits. He suggests giving each community the right to see for itself. “If elected officials from another borough oppose traffic cameras, then fine, leave them and their community out. Let Manhattan and other boroughs have as many traffic cameras as our communities want…. We can show how much faster commutes can get with bus lanes that are clear and how much safer our streets become. Commuters will see the difference and demand it for their own neighborhoods.”

As a personal injury law firm with an emphasis on traffic accidents, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson supports efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities on New York City’s roads. We hope that officials at every level of government will consider proposals like this one and come up with a plan to improve safety across the board.

New York City has made great strides toward reducing traffic fatalities, but that progress is at risk due to a lack of support from the state government. Ben Kallos, a member of the New York City Council representing the Upper East Side, recently wrote an op-ed calling for improved traffic monitoring. Not only did Kallos demand the reauthorization of the expired Vision Zero initiative, but he made the case for New York City to dramatically expand its traffic monitoring efforts.

Council Member Kallos began by listing New York’s past successes in traffic monitoring. He credits the city’s Red Light Camera program, instituted in 1994, with reducing severe traffic injuries by as much as 76 percent. New York has since attempted to expand on that progress, notably through its adoption of the Vision Zero program. This initiative placed 140 cameras in school zones, which monitored cars to make sure they were obeying the speed limit.

Unfortunately, the Vision Zero program relied on support from the state government, which had to authorize its use of cameras. The state legislature failed to renew this authorization after it expired in July, in part because legislators from Brooklyn and other boroughs expressed opposition to having cameras in their communities.

Not only does Kallos support reauthorizing the program, but he believes New York should expand its use of cameras. Citing his constituents’ consistent calls for “increased traffic enforcement,” he suggests that local officials should place traffic cameras at every location where people have been killed or injured or where violations have occurred. Kallos is aware of the high cost of these cameras, which run between $67,000 and $80,000 per intersection, but believes that they are a net benefit, both economically and morally. He has also pledged $1 million from his office to help cover the cost of installation.

Kallos is sensitive to the fact that some officials don’t want cameras in their communities, but believes they will eventually realize the benefits. He suggests giving each community the right to see for itself. “If elected officials from another borough oppose traffic cameras, then fine, leave them and their community out. Let Manhattan and other boroughs have as many traffic cameras as our communities want…. We can show how much faster commutes can get with bus lanes that are clear and how much safer our streets become. Commuters will see the difference and demand it for their own neighborhoods.”

As a personal injury law firm with an emphasis on traffic accidents, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson supports efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities on New York City’s roads. We hope that officials at every level of government will consider proposals like this one and come up with a plan to improve safety across the board.

For more information on traffic safety and your rights after an accident, call Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson at 888.746.8212 or contact us online today.

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