School Zone Speed Camera Bill Passed
I am thrilled to report that on March 19, 2019 my school zone speed camera expansion bill was passed in both the Assembly and Senate. This historic passage is the culmination of several years’ work to ensure that all children, their caregivers, and school staff are protected against the dangers of speeding motorists as they travel to and from school.
In 2013, I sponsored legislation that created a demonstration program to test the effectiveness of speed cameras in a small number school zones in New York City. The results on driving in these school zones demonstrated the powerful behavior modification effect these cameras possess; locations with cameras saw speeding violations drop more than 60% and traffic fatalities drop by 55%. Yet under the restrictions of the demonstration program, less than 10% of City school children attended a school protected by a camera.
My recent bill expands this life-saving and proven program by; increasing the number speed cameras from 140 to 750; lengthening the time cameras are authorized to operate to 6am-10pm, Monday through Friday, and; redefining a school zone as a quarter-mile radial distance around a school building. Under this expansion, the streets surrounding every elementary and middle school and the majority of high schools in New York City can be protected from reckless drivers. Due to the recalcitrance of the previous Senate majority, the school speed camera program was prevented from expanding, and even more shockingly, was allowed to expire without being reauthorized.
Thankfully, with the partnership of Senator Gounardes and the new Senate majority, we were able to put children’s safety above political posturing and secure this hard-fought victory for pedestrian and cyclist safety. A major thank you is owed to Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives for the dedication and perseverance they demonstrated throughout this journey.