Surveillance cameras to monitor vehicle speed will be operating around schools, beginning Sept. 9.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan gathered Monday to announce speed camera enforcement near schools is slated to begin on Sept. 9, the city's first day of the new school year. The five-year program will include mobile and fixed cameras at unmarked locations that have been decided based on a number of factors, including: crash data and road geometry.
"Keeping streets safe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is one of the most important public safety challenges any government faces," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Curbing the speeding around schools will help us continue to make our city's streets safer for everyone."
Over the past 10 years, lawmakers have tried time and time again to pass state legislation that would allow for the installation of speed cameras in New York City. And this summer, the proposed legislation was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Traffic fatalities in the city have decreased by 30 percent in the past 12 years, but speeding was named a factor in 30 percent of the city's traffic fatalities in 2012, according to the Department of Transportation. The odds of a child dying after being struck by a car moving at 40 miles per hour is 70 percent. But a child has an 80 percent chance of survival if struck by a car moving at 30 miles per hour, according to the department.
"Motorists who play fast and loose on our streets need to learn the critical lesson that New York City's speed limit is 30 [miles per hour] for a reason, and that it's literally the difference between life and death," Sadik-Khan said in a statement.
The city will begin issuing warnings to speeders caught by the cameras, eventually issuing $50 fines. No points will be taken off offending motorist's licenses. Some of the 20 cameras are pole-based, others will be in vehicles. They'll all rotate from school to school across the city. There will not be any posted warnings in advance of the cameras, which will be working 24/7 - not just during school hours.