DOT Confirms Speed Cameras Effectively Slow Speeds
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today released a DOT analysis of recent data and studies that confirm speed cameras save lives. The analysis underscores the need for the Senate to reconvene and vote to pass legislation to reauthorize and expand the photos speed violation monitoring systems or speed cameras program for school speed zones in New York City. Governor Cuomo has staunchly supported the speed camera program, introducing his own program bill, and the Assembly passed similar legislation during the 2018 legislative session.
“It is beyond the pale that Republicans in the State Senate refuse to support speed cameras in the face of overwhelming evidence that this technology saves lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Senate Republicans are putting politics over the lives of children. The Assembly has passed the bill and the Senate Democrats support it—now it’s up to Senate Republicans to decide whether young people live or die.”
Amy Cohen, mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, 12/8/00-10/8/13 and founding member of Families for Safe Streets said, “Every 38 hours someone is killed in a traffic crash in New York City. Each is not just a number. Each is a human life, like my son Sammy. This is a preventable public health crisis. We cannot play games and put lives at risk. Anyone who fails to act and expand this proven life-saving measure needs to be held responsible for the deaths and serious injuries they have allowed to happen on their watch.”
Governor Cuomo has signed speed camera legislation into law every time the Legislature passed it. He fought for its passage during the most recent legislative session, but Republicans refused to allow it to come to a vote on the Senate floor.
“Speed cameras protecting school children and pedestrians will be deactivated later this month if the State Senate does not return to Albany,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The cameras have proven to reduce the speed of drivers on the road and the number of accidents that occur. This bill is saving lives, and we’re calling on Senate Republicans to put people over politics.”
The DOT analysis is available here. Highlights include:
More than 100 pedestrians are killed every year in New York City by crashes. Between 2012 and 2016, 144 people died a year on average in motor vehicle crashes in New York City, according to Department of Motor Vehicle data. During that period, an average of 8 children under the age of 18 were killed each year by motor vehicle crashes in the city.
Fatalities in New York City school zones decreased from an average of 18 a year to an average of 8 a year after speed cameras were installed. According to the latest report on New York City’s program, total crashes were down 15%, injury crashes were down 17% and fatalities were down 55% in school zones where cameras were used.
Survivability is directly related to vehicle speeds. While a pedestrian hit at 40 miles per hour has an 85 percent chance of death, the chance of death drops to only 5 percent when the pedestrian is hit at 20 miles per hour according to one study.
144 communities across the country already have speed camera programs. In Seattle, for example, speed cameras in school zones led to a 71% drop in total crashes during the camera activation hours, including zero pedestrian or bicycle crashes.
Speed cameras can reduce injury crashes by 20-25%. An international study reviewing 13 programs in Europe, Canada and Australia concluded that injury crashes are reduced by 20-25% where fixed camera systems are in use.