New York City public schools are back in session tomorrow, so if you plan on being behind the wheel remember this: slow down in school zones to save lives and save you from being fined.
School zone speed cameras will be turned back on around all 140 city schools thanks to a deal worked out among Governor Andrew Cuomo, City Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Cuomo signed an executive order August 27 declaring a public safety emergency to reinstate the speed camera law by giving the NY Department of Motor Vehicles the power to share the cameras’ information with the City Council. The council then approved legislation this week to create its own speed camera program that de Blasio promptly signed into law.
School zone speeders caught on camera we be levied a $50 fine, the same penalty as in the earlier law.
The speed cameras went off earlier this year after the state Senate failed to renew a law to keep them operational, which shocked parents, school officials and lawmakers alike. The speed cameras, in place 2014, have helped made city streets around schools safer, according to a report from the city’s Department of Transportation. The data shows a 55 percent decline in fatalities in school zones fitted with speed cameras and a 63 percent decrease in speeding there when schools are is in session.
“Injury crashes have dropped over 14 percent after the camera is activated, during all hours of the day, despite the fact that the cameras are deactivated during most of the year,” the report also noted.
A DOT found that more than 132,000 drivers violated the speed limit in the first two weeks after the legislation expired, and that number has likely only grown since.