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Drivers Slow Under Watchful ‘Eye’ of NYC Speed Cameras

Speed camera violations dropped 30 percent citywide in the past 12 months, the first year in which the law allowed the cameras to issue automated tickets 24/7. Traffic fatalities also dropped, according to DOT data.

NYPD speed camera is seen on Sixty Avenue near Broome Street in downtown Manhattan. The cameras automatically issue $50 tickets to the owners of cars caught moving at least 11 mph above the speed limit, which is 25 mph is nearly all of the city. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/TNS)
Luiz C. Ribeiro/TNS
(TNS) — New Yorkers are pumping the brakes now that speed cameras are always watching the city that never sleeps.

Speed camera violations dropped 30% citywide in the past 12 months, the first year in which the law allowed the cameras to issue automated tickets 24/7.

“Speeding happens most often on nights and weekends, and expanded enforcement has been a highly effective tool to keep New Yorkers safe,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement. “The program has reduced speeding, decreased the number of injuries and made our streets safer.”

Traffic fatalities went down in that period as well, according to DOT data, with 25% fewer deaths in camera zones in the past 12 months than in the year prior.

Before round-the-clock operation of the school-zone speed cameras began in August 2022, the city’s automatic system for catching speeding cars only operated between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on school days.

The most dramatic speeding reduction occurred on a stretch of Houston St. in Manhattan’s East Village, where speed camera tickets are down 96% in the 12 months leading up to August 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, the Transportation Department said.

Cropsey Ave., in South Brooklyn, saw an 84% drop in automated speeding tickets during the same time period.

Tickets also went down by 83% on Union Turnpike in Queens, and by 74% on North Conduit Blvd. in eastern Brooklyn. Bruckner Blvd. in the Bronx saw a 68% reduction, the city’s data show.

By law, speed cameras can only be set up in school zones.

State law also restricts the fine for automated camera tickets to $50. The tickets do not assess points to a driver’s license, as the system can’t tell who is behind the wheel of a speeding car.

The 24-hour cameras garnered brief national attention earlier this month when “The Wire” creator David Simon called New York an “off-brand” city in a tirade on X, the platform formerly known at Twitter, after he got caught doing 36 mph in a 25 zone at 5:40 a.m.

The Transportation Department’s official X account struck back, telling Simon, “delete your account.”

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