In an effort to reduce traffic accidents within the five boroughs, New York City is now installing cameras to deter speeding in high-collision areas near schools. A new state law has increased the number of school zone cameras from 140 to 750, and Mayor de Blasio has stated that he expects the city’s Department of Transportation to add 40 cameras per month through the end of 2019 and then to quicken the pace to 60 per month in the new year. Cameras will be placed in all five boroughs, with the installations scheduled for completion in June 2020.
Government officials and safety advocacy groups have praised various aspects of the expanded camera program, including:
- Positive results — Speed cameras have been credited for the decrease in car crashes in the city in the five years since their deployment. As a result, de Blasio, Governor Cuomo and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson supported expanding the initiative.
- Year-round coverage — As a program originally geared to increase the safety of children walking to and from school, the cameras only operated on weekdays from September through June. Under the expanded program, announced in July near P.S. 28 in the Bronx, the cameras will work all year long.
- Expanded hours — Schools aren’t just open while class is in session. Breakfast service and afterschool activities mean that students are going in and out for several extra hours. Moreover, schools are often located in busy neighborhoods that are prone to speeding and auto accidents. Accordingly, the hours when speeding vehicles will be photographed have been expanded to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
State and city authorities are hopeful that by catching more speeders in Vision Zero Priority Corridors and making drivers aware of intensified law enforcement, the expanded camera program will reduce the number of pedestrian accidents suffered by school children and others.
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