Thanks to Marty Golden, Life-Saving Speed Cameras Not in State Budget

Electeds and advocates have until June to push speed camera legislation through Albany, as the proposed NYC demonstration program was not part of this year’s state budget deal.

NYC's largest police union must be awfully pleased that Marty Golden has managed to block life-saving speed cameras, for now.

Speed cameras were included in the State Assembly budget. The program has the endorsement of Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. But despite overwhelming support from city government, State Senator Marty Golden joined the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in lobbying against the cameras, saying that speed enforcement should be the exclusive province of police officers.

Said Golden to the Daily News: “What we need are the actual police officers on the street. Cops on the street are what slows people down.”

In reality, traffic cameras are highly effective at reducing speeding, red light-running, and crashes. In D.C., speed cameras led to an 82 percent reduction in drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph or more, according to Richard Retting, the director of safety and research at Sam Schwartz Engineering.

Regardless, as one of three Republicans in the Senate who represent the city, Golden has the power to head off whatever NYC-related legislation he doesn’t like, for whatever reason.

“The Senate was not supposed to be a problem, because so many of them aren’t from the city,” says Juan Martinez, general counsel for Transportation Alternatives. “The Assembly was supposed to be the issue.”

Though speed cameras now have the support of the Assembly, as of now there is no bill to move the program along this session. Martinez believes there’s still “a solid shot” that it will happen.

“Marty Golden does not know how to conquer speeding better than Ray Kelly does,” Martinez says. “That’s not a bad position to be in. Between now and the end of June, we just have to hustle harder.”

Speeding was the leading factor in fatal NYC crashes last year, according to NYC DOT. A 2009 TA study found that a NYC motorist could speed every day and get a ticket once every 35 years. Crash data compiled by Streetsblog show that since January 2012 at least five pedestrians have been killed by motorists in the precincts encompassed by Golden’s Senate district.

Multiple queries to Golden’s office have not been returned.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder where the payola is coming from. Who’s to gain with more more crashs? AAA?

  • Marty Golden cares so much about the police that he’d rather send them chasing after speeding vehicles rather than let a camera safely snap photos of vehicular crimes.

  • KillMoto

    How many cops will have to be furloughed in order to pay for these cameras now?

  • How many cops will have to be furloughed in order to pay for these cameras now?

  • Anonymous

    Finally, someone is courageous enough to step forward and protect us from protection.

  • Tony

    Extra cops would be useless. They hardly do any traffic enforcement now, and more manpower won’t change that.

  • Adam.Anon

    What is wrong with NYPD? They write like 10 speeding tickets per precinct per month and yet they oppose the speed cameras? What exactly is their problem?

  • Doctor Smith

    Is this a chance to do better? Under the NYC speed cam bill, A04327, a motorist has to be speeding at least 40mph on a 30mph city street to get a ticket. Yet, a pedestrian hit by a car at 40mph has a 90% chance of being killed and “the change from “mainly survivable injuries to mainly fatal injuries takes place at speeds between 30 and 40 mph.” or says the British government. http://bit.ly/ZOMrBP

  • Bolwerk

    No surpirse. Almost every substantive problem with transport and safe streets comes from the fact that some corrupt klepto-poliitician or advocacy group holds up substantive reform.

    The system just needs to be changed. Democrats are corrupt and, of the three major categories of Republikan (stupid, sociopathic, and stupid sociopath), Golden probably falls into the last category.

  • Bolwerk

    No surpirse. Almost every substantive problem with transport and safe streets comes from the fact that some corrupt klepto-poliitician or advocacy group holds up substantive reform.

    The system just needs to be changed. Democrats are corrupt and, of the three major categories of Republikan (stupid, sociopathic, and stupid sociopath), Golden probably falls into the last category.

  • Ian Turner

    Adam.Anon : Just to clarify, it’s the PBA (the police officers’ union) that is opposed to speed cameras; the NYPD managemint is in favor of them.

    HankGreen : Not sure this is simple bribery, it may just be a matter of perspective or self interest. The political class in New York all drive, and under the current system are mostly exempt from receiving traffic tickets.

  • Morris Zapp

    Golden knows what he’s done is indefensible, but he would rather curry favor with the PBA than protect the lives of children. This overshadows anything else he’s done in the realm of street safety, including his half-assed truck mirror bill.

    He’s a disgusting coward.

  • Mark Walker

    The blood of future victims is on his hands. Voters in his district should never forgive or forget this.

  • Anonymous

    He’s nothing but a scumbag.

  • Joe R.

    And so ends the fledgling attempt to install speed cameras in NYC thanks to a political hack. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll start talking about this again in 5 years. I really think the reason some pols and the PBA are so dead set against cameras is because cameras don’t grant “professional courtesy”.

  • Miles Bader

    The amusing thing is that Marty Golden looks exactly like I imagine a classic NIMBY to look whenever I read their ranting on the net. You know, retired, lots of time on their hands, opinions (and fashion sense) set in stone since about 1955…

  • Matthijs van Guilder

    and because an inordinate percentage of those caught on candid camera will be the off duty officers and family and friends who are accustomed to getting one on the arm.

  • Joe R.

    Yep. Exactly how I imagine them as well.

  • toubesu

    A speed camera is not going to stop some kid from speeding, he will find another street without a speed camera.

  • Anonymous

    Gosh! You mean one very limited means of enforcement will not permanently put an end to every instance of the targeted law-breaking? NO ONE EVER THOUGHT OF THAT THIS WHOLE TIME! I’m now against law enforcement of any type, thanks to your insight.

  • Peter Engel

    This disgusting development has nothing to do with payoffs from the AAA. In fact, tHey’d favor this to because it leads to more traffic safety for their members. Now, this is about protecting cops, pure & simple. Golden is an ex-cop and he protects cops. Pat Lynch of the PBA is against it too. There’s two reasons I can think of: 1) speed cameras justify reductions in manpower 2) As Matthijs van Guilder said, an inordinate percentage of those caught on candid camera will be off-duty cops, family and friends. Cameras can’t lie for them the way a fellow cop can.

  • Editor StopBigBrotherMD

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