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Legislature OKs bill expanding school zone speed cameras

Would establish demonstration program in Buffalo

March 19, 2019 - 5:56 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) — The Democrat-controlled state Legislature on Tuesday passed legislation aimed at improving pedestrian safety in New York City school zones by adding hundreds of traffic surveillance cameras designed to catch speeders.

"Speeding vehicles in my community, and throughout the State, have too often resulted in tragic and avoidable consequences,” Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said. “Authorizing the city of Buffalo to establish a school zone speed monitoring demonstration program will supplement police efforts to curb speeding violations, and help keep Buffalo’s students and residents safe.”

The legislation will add to the number of speed cameras already installed near schools in the five boroughs. It will also establish a demonstration program for school zone cameras in Buffalo, home to upstate New York's largest public school district. Like the original New York City program, the city of Buffalo will be authorized to operate cameras in 20 school zones, and use images from the speed cameras to impose liability on the owner of the speeding vehicle, supplementing the police effort.

Senator Tim Kennedy, said, “Simply put, speed cameras in New York City have saved lives. Protecting our kids while they're at school is of paramount importance and drivers in school zones should know that driving safely is critical - it's why we need to not only protect and expand the program in New York City, but extend it to other cities in New York as well, including the City of Buffalo. I was proud to move this legislation forward through my committee and I look forward to voting this much-needed bill into law.”

Supporters say the cameras save lives by forcing drivers to slow down in school zones.

The cameras will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the city will be required to install signs giving notice that a speed camera is in use.

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown stated, “Speed safety cameras near schools make sense and I commend Senator Tim Kennedy, Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and both the State Senate and Assembly for working together to pass this life-saving legislation. We must continue to do everything we can to calm traffic in school zones. This tool serves to remind all motorists to slow down, obey traffic laws and keep our children safe.”  

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