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DOT Adding Thousands of New School Zone Speed Cameras, Will Double the Hours of Operation Later This Week

Speed cameras will be operational five days a week, all year long. (NYC DOT)

July 8, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

A robust citywide expansion of the school zone speed camera network is underway, with the Department of Transportation aiming to add thousands of cameras across all five boroughs in an attempt to curb dangerous driving near the city’s schools.

Starting later this week, the new cameras, as well as the existing ones, will be switched on for roughly twice as long each day.

The DOT has declined to disclose where the new cameras are going up. However, the agency has said that it is prioritizing those school zones with the highest crash rates and areas known for speeding.

Beginning on July 11, all installed cameras will be in operation every weekday from 6 am to 10 pm, all year-round. Previously, the school zone cameras were operated at variable hours, only being able to issue summonses to drivers during the hours that a given school was open. DOT has estimated that the extension will double the overall number of hours the cameras are active.

The launch of the lengthened hours comes as the DOT begins its rapid build out of the camera network, dramatically expanding on its five-year pilot program that covered 140 of the most dangerous school zones throughout the city.

The $62 million expansion will ensure that all 750 school zones citywide are covered by speed cameras.

Drivers caught on camera going more than 10 miles per hour above the speed limit in a school zone will be hit with a $50 ticket, mailed to the registered owner of the car. DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has said that she expects the speed camera program to pay for itself through these fines. From the existing 140 speed cameras alone, $44 million in revenue was brought in last year.

DOT began the wave of installations earlier this year with a camera near P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side. Another covering P.S 234, P.S, 89, I.S. 289, and Stuyvesant High School in Tribeca was installed late last month. Each month for the rest of the year, 40 cameras will be installed in various school zones across the city. In 2020, the number will increase to a whopping 60 per month.

The city expects every school zone to have at least one camera by June 2020, but many zones will eventually have two or three.

“We need to make sure our roads are safe for all New Yorkers, especially for those that are the most vulnerable,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “I thank all the work that DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the State legislature has done to ensure that our children are kept out of harms way with this massive increase in speed cameras around schools. I will continue to work alongside Speaker Corey Johnson, my colleagues, and advocates to ensure we continue to bring road security to all of New York City.”

The pilot program, launched in 2013, proved successful in saving lives, according to the DOT. During the five year run, the DOT reported a 60 percent drop in speeding infractions in school zones where the cameras had been installed, as well as a 21 percent decline in the number of people killed or severely injured in crashes in the zones.

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9 Comments

PASOK faded away

Good everyone slow down . Its not the Acropolis 500 guys and galls . Mamasoo’s insurance premiums will rise once you hit a pedestrian . Lets not forget the school bus cameras. Hit em where it hurts. The wallet

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Rebecca

I think police cars need to also slow down and set an example for all drivers if they are not in an emergency call. I have noticed many in Astoria speed through traffic lights by turning on their sirens for about 3-4 seconds trying to warn vehicles and pedistrains not to cross at intersections so they can pass through traffic lights. Recently I almost twisted my ankle trying to run through an avenue crosswalk because they turned on their sirens while I was already trying to cross the street. They turned the siren off once they got to other side and I saw one laughing.

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Irene McQuade

I always knew that a school zone is a 10 mile per hour zone and I always followed the rules since I have been driving for 40+ years. Why can’t the city put cameras in areas where cars are vandalized. There is a strip along Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside that gangs vandalize cars at a frightening rate. Cars have been keyed, broken into, items stolen, mirrors broken, tires punctured and/or stolen. My insurance company already paid a total of $5,000 in damages to my car on several occasions. We need cameras on Barnett Avenue to protect the drivers that drive safely and obey the rules, not to use cameras just to ticket offenders.

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Gardens Watcher

Good. Hope that applies to school bus drivers too. This afternoon (July 8) a full-sized yellow school bus blew past me on Skillman at 44th St. going way over the speed limit.

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bikes = scary

wow, that almost sounds as dangerous as a cyclist rolling a stop sign at an empty intersection!

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Peter L Roussos

RE: Speed Cameras VS Common Sense
If I dont know a camera or traffic agent is around Im more inclined to break the speed limit.

Makes no sense approach:
So If I see no camera or traffic agent around and I drive past the speed limit I may and will still possibly injure someone going over the speed limit. So only “after” breaking the law and possibly injuring someone will I be ticketed for going over the limit at 50.00 a pop.

Common Sense approach:
If I knew (in advance) a traffic agent and or camera was at aid location was there and on I would be more inclined to slow down avoid someone from getting hurt and not incurring a fine of 50.00. No money would be paid to the city but remember more importantly no one would be hurt or killed if one were to know in advance to slow down.

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Oswin

@deblowsio

Nice username!

Also, I think that what Peter L Roussos was trying to say was in regards to the following snippet:

“The DOT has declined to disclose where the new cameras are going up. ”

Peter’s belief is that they should announce the presence of the new cameras. If he has no idea that a camera is in a given area, then he has no incentive not to break the limit, meaning that although there’ll be more tickets, accidents will still happen. Now, on the other hand, if the cameras and fines are “advertised”, with signage, or if the DOT were to say, oh, there’s a camera on X street, reckless drivers, especially those who don’t have the $$$ to spare, (and in this economy, isn’t that all of us?) will make a point of being more careful, at least in that area. Thus, the cameras are more effective when people know they’re there.

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