The New York Times)
July 16, 2018
By Janette Sadik-Khan and Lucius J. Riccio
Janette Sadik-Khan and Lucius J. Riccio are former commissioners of the New York City Department of Transportation.
For all of the attention that offenses like D.U.I.s, road rage and texting-while-driving rightly receive, the biggest threat to traffic safety on New York City’s streets is the State Senate.
The chamber is effectively ending a speed-limit-enforcement camera program by failing to renew the city’s mandate to run it.
Started in 2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the program put cameras on the streets outside some city schools. Drivers traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit faced a $50 fine. Since then, speeding has declined by more than 60 percent near schools with cameras during school hours, leading to significant declines in crashes.
The Republicans who control the Senate started rallying against renewing the camera program in the spring. They argued that speed cameras are a Big Brother intrusion into New Yorkers’ lives and are little more than a revenue-generating scheme disguised as a safety measure. These senators let the legislative session in Albany end without authorizing the city to extend and expand the speed-camera program.
Only after a public outcry last month did a group of senators come up with a counterproposal. Instead of cameras, they said, the city should install more signs and signals at more than 1,000 city school zones.
Damon Winter/The New York Times