Sen. José Peralta and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick unveiled a bill to crack down on unsafe drivers near New York City schools.
Specifically, the bill would allow up to 750 speed cameras around city schools — 610 more than the current 140 cameras permitted under current law.
“We have had too many children killed or injured on their way to school or heading home,” Glick said. “This measure is an essential element in providing a modicum of protection for New York school children. Speeding kills and it is crucial that drivers are trained not to speed, especially in school zones.”
The cameras would be in operation from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week. Currently, the use of these speed monitoring devices around city schools is limited to periods surrounding school hours and times of student activities.
The bill also calls for the installation of warning signs within 300 feet of a camera, and it would mandate that a camera cannot be placed within 300 feet of a highway exit. The new legislation would sunset on July 1, 2022.
The lawmakers and advocates behind the bill say the pilot program that allowed for the installation of 140 speed cameras approved in 2013 has been successful. Between 2014 and 2016, there has been a 63 percent decline in speeding violations issued at a school zone camera location.
In addition, 81 percent of motorists who received a violation for speeding in school areas have not received a second ticket. Injuries to pedestrians, motorists and cyclists have declined an average 13 percent at locations were cameras are located despite the fact that the cameras are turned off during weekends and nights.
“This bill will save lives and make our streets safer for everyone,” Peralta said. “Every day, more than one million children, teachers and parents travel to and from school, so we must ensure we deter drivers from speeding to keep everyone safe. Speeding is a leading cause of traffic fatalities in New York City, and with this mechanism we will crack down on reckless drivers.”
Sen. Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, is a co-prime sponsor of the bill.