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New York Lawmakers Want to Mandate Devices to Slow Speeders

Drivers who have received multiple speed-camera violations would be ordered to install aftermarket speed limiters on their vehicles under a state bill proposed Tuesday by two legislators.

(TNS) — Repeat speeders could be stuck in low gear under a plan to electronically limit their cars’ speeds put forward by Brooklyn lawmakers.

Drivers with multiple speed-camera violations would be ordered to install aftermarket speed limiters on their cars under a bill proposed Tuesday by two legislators.

“There is a persistent cohort of drivers who are getting five, six, seven, ten, 15, 20 speeding tickets — and driving on our streets recklessly without any consequences whatsoever,” said Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn), who announced his sponsorship of the bill in the Senate.

There’s no consequences for speeders other than a fine, Gounardes said. “Just a slap on the wrist — $50 every single time.”

“These are the most dangerous drivers on our streets,” he added.

Assembly member Emily Gallagher (D-Brooklyn) is backing the Assembly version of the bill.

The limiting device, once installed, would bar vehicles from traveling no more than 5 mph above the posted speed limit. The devices would have to be installed in cars caught six or more times by an automated speed camera.

Speeding tickets issued by a police officer during a traffic stop carry with them points against the driver’s license.

The higher the speed cited in a police traffic stop, the more points are lodged against a driver’s license. New York state law allows for a driver’s license to be suspended after a cumulative 11 points within an 18 month period.

Gounardes’ and Gallagher’s bill would require a speed limiter on any driver with 11 points, should their license not be suspended.

But speeding tickets issued by automated systems — like the network of speed cameras throughout New York City — do not result in points on a driver’s license, as the systems cannot prove who is driving the car.

Gounardes and Gallagher propose solving that problem simply by requiring the devices to be installed on cars seen speeding.

In both types of cases, the limiters would be have to remain installed on a vehicle for 12 months.

“That would mean that the most reckless drivers — the drivers with the biggest and longest history of speeding on our streets — could not physically travel more than 30 mph for a period of 12 months,” Gournades said.

The speed limit on New York City streets is 25 mph. Because the legislators’ plan would stop vehicles from going more than 5 mph above the speed limit, scofflaw motorists in New York City would be limited to speeds of 30 mph.

GPS technology allows speed limiters to adjust according to a vehicle’s location. A 2017 report by the National Transportation Safety Board suggested seeking ways to “incentivize” car manufacturers and buyers to install such systems in new vehicles.

Gounardes likened his approach to Leandra’s Law, a 2010 anti-drunk-driving measure that — in addition to stiffening penalties for drunk driving — requires an ignition device that will not start a car without a sober breathalyzer result.

“This is very similar to what we already do for drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

“We are taking the same concept and the same model and applying it to the speeding context.”

“We know that when we slow our speed limits, we save lives,” he added.

Gounardes held Tuesday’s news conference at the intersection of Atlantic Ave. and Clinton St. in Boerum Hill, feet from where Katherine Harris, 31, was killed in April by a speeding driver while crossing the avenue.

According to city data, 44 pedestrians have been killed in traffic incidents so far this year. It was not immediately clear in how many of those deaths excessive speed was thought to be a factor.

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