New York City to Expand School Zone Speed Camera Program

As many as 2,000 speed cameras will be placed throughout 750 school zones to catch speeders. Since the program launched in 2014, speeding at locations with cameras has decreased by more than 60 percent, officials say.

by Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance / July 8, 2019
Shutterstock/Cory Seamer

(TNS) — New York City’s school zone speed camera program is set to undergo a massive expansion beginning on Thursday, July 11.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is set to expand the number of school zones encompassed by the program by more than five-fold, while also extending the hours of operation and increasing the radial distance in which they can operate.

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg recently penned a letter to Borough President James Oddo to update Staten Islanders about the program’s expansion, offering details of the changes and echoing the long-held claim that speed cameras have been effective in improving school zone safety.

“School speed zone cameras are a proven technology that play a crucial role in Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative and have greatly contributed to the city’s 33% reduction in traffic fatalities over the past five years. Since the city launched the program in 2014, speeding at locations with cameras decreased by more than 60% with over 80% of violators not receiving a second ticket," Trottenberg wrote.

Here’s what you need to know about the program’s expansion:

  • When does it start? The new law allowing for the program’s expansion takes effect on Thursday.
  • How many more cameras? The number of school zones housing speed cameras will increase from 140 to 750, an increase of approximately 436 percent. The New York Times has reported that the program could ultimately result in over 2,000 cameras placed throughout the 750 zones, though the DOT would not confirm this.
  • When will the new cameras be installed? The DOT is expected to install cameras at a rate of 40 per month through the end of 2019, increasing the rate to 60 per month in 2020. DOT expects to reach the maximum 750 school zones by June 2020, according to the letter.
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