New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is off to an aggressive start in 2019, revealing an ambitious agenda in his recent State of the State address. Among the long list of initiatives and objectives he intends to accomplish in his new term are plans to reinstate New York City’s speed camera program, and double the number of cameras used to catch drivers who travel above the speed limit.
From a press release issued last week, Governor Cuomo notes speed cameras have been a proven deterrent in the City, and have been particularly effective in reducing car accidents and increasing survival rates in wrecks which occur in school zones.
Despite the “indisputable evidence” that speed cameras help save lives, Cuomo notes, the Senate blocked key legislation in 2018 that would have allowed NYC’s program to continue operating. As part of his new budget proposal, Governor Cuomo is not only reinstating the program though use of his emergency powers, but will also expand statutory guidelines to include 290 school zones, which is double the 140 cameras used under the old program, and the same number of cameras in the bill rejected by the Senate last year.
The City Council also passed a bill last year allowing New York City to deploy an unlimited number of speeding cameras, and it remains to be seen if lawmakers will object to the 290-camera cap.
NYC’s Speeding Camera Program at a Glance
NYC’s speed camera program has been hailed by Cuomo, City Mayo Bill de Blasio, and numerous other advocates, some of whom want even more than the 290 cameras projected as part of the expanded system. Here are some numbers about how it previously worked:
- Since the program was fully launched in 2014, its 140-school zone cameras issued tickets to over 4.5 million motorists – about 10 times the number of tickets issued by all the City’s NYPD officers combined.
- Just 17% of drivers ticketed through the automated system go on to reoffend and be issued a second speeding ticket, something Cuomo and others say is a testament to their effectiveness.
- When activated, speed cameras reduce speeding in the monitored area by over 60%.
- Under his proposed budget, Cuomo also included plans for creating signs that alert drivers about speed cameras in place, which would serve as an additional means to deter speeding.
The expanded speed camera program is slated to be a vital enforcement tool in the City’s “Vision Zero” initiative, and will hopefully contribute to the declining number of auto fatalities the City has seen over the past five consecutive years. Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget also includes a number of other initiatives intended to benefit public safety, the environment, and individual rights, including new laws to protect New Yorkers from toxic chemical exposure, ban the use of plastic bags, prohibit the release of mugshots and arrest booking information, and the refine the state’s “Adult-Use Cannabis Program,” among others.
Speeding & Auto Accidents: What Are Your Rights as an Injured Victim?
As a law firm which handles all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout New York City and the state, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. knows the risks of speeding. As Attorney Zachary S. Perecman notes:
“We applaud Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improving safety on our public roads, and especially in school zones where children and others face risks of being injured by negligent drivers. Over the years, our attorneys have seen the disastrous effects of high-speed collisions, which pose greater potential for more serious injuries, death, and considerable emotional and financial damages for victims and their loved ones – especially when they involve commercial trucks, or vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists.”
Though speed cameras have helped reduce collisions in areas where they are deployed, they are no substitute for being vigilant on the road, whether as a motorist, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, and they don’t prevent careless drivers from continuing to speed and put others’ lives on the line. Many motorists across the city and the state continue to drive at unsafe speeds.
While traffic citations or the occasional misdemeanor or felony may hold reckless and speeding drivers accountable for their actions, it’s important to mention those cases don’t provide a meaningful source of compensation for the victims and families who’ve been harmed. In order to recover their damages and hold negligent drivers civilly accountable, victims will need to pursue personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits in civil court.
Call (212) 577-9325 to Discuss an Auto Accident Case in NYC
The Perecman Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is a firm comprised of award-winning civil trial lawyers who are available to help clients across all five boroughs and beyond after they’ve suffered harm in preventable auto accidents involving speeding drivers and other negligent acts. To discuss your rights and potential claim, contact us 24/7 for a free case review.