Marty Golden’s Answer to Speed Cams: More 20 MPH School Zones

A protest outside State Senator Marty Golden’s district office this afternoon, organized by Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (BRAKES), blasted the Bay Ridge Republican for his continued opposition to speed cameras, which kept a demonstration program out of this year’s state budget.

Marty Golden wants you to think he's a street safety champion, even as he opposes speed cameras. Photo: ##http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/martin-j-golden##NY Senate##

In response, Golden sent a statement to Capital New York:

Like the parents here today, I share with them the concern for the safety of our children. Other locations across the United States have found speed camera technology unreliable. If we can prove that the technology is sound, and document unequivocally that it will reduce speeding and fatalities, that would provide reason to consider the possibility of speed camera legislation.

We need to reduce speeding around schools, by setting up safety zones as well as increasing traffic lights, speed humps, stop signs and reduce the speed limits around schools 10 miles per hour to 20 mph. In the coming days I will be introducing legislation to create these speed zones throughout New York City school zones to reduce speeding near our educational institutions. It is clear, however, that the most effective way to reduce speeding and speeding related fatalities is increased police and prosecution of reckless driving.

Golden’s proposed legislation, which has not yet been filed in the Senate, would require the posting of 20 mph school zones in New York City, though it would not provide an enforcement mechanism. Golden’s legislation would layer on top of existing rules, which already allow municipalities to establish school zones.

If Golden wants proof that speed cameras work, there are plenty of studies he could look at. An international review of speed cameras found that, in 28 of 28 comprehensive surveys, camera programs were successful at reducing crash rates. In Maryland, speed cameras have been shown to have a “halo effect,” reducing speeds even on streets where they haven’t been installed.

In Washington, DC, which is a fraction of the size of New York, the local government has installed 90 speed cameras. Since the program began in 2001, traffic fatalities there have fallen 73 percent. Over the same period, fatalities on New York City streets dropped 30 percent.

The final line of Golden’s statement, however, gives his game away: “The most effective way to reduce speeding and speeding related fatalities,” he says, “is increased police.” Perhaps a few clones could solve that problem, as long as they pay dues to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Does Marty Golden think the public will swallow the line that he cares about traffic safety, as he blocks a proven safety technology that’s supported by an overwhelming majority of city officials?

  • Honestly, he’s reminding me of that Simpson’s episode where they try to get gum out of Lisa’s hair with peanut butter and mayonnaise. Just put in the damn speed cameras. This is ridiculous.

  • the speed limit can be dropped to 2 mph around schools and it still wouldn’t make a difference if there’s no enforcement. More cops would only be the answer if they prioritized traffic violations – but they don’t. With limited resources, you need to use the most effective tools available and today that includes speed cameras. Marty is legislating completely blind.

  • ” If we can prove that the technology is sound, and document
    unequivocally that it will reduce speeding and fatalities, that would
    provide reason to consider the possibility of speed camera legislation.” In other words, he hasn’t even considered the possibility of speed cameras yet! And he won’t until he has proof beyond any metaphysical doubt about things that have already been proven to the satisfaction of traffic engineers whose job it is to understand these things. When’s the next BRAKES demo?

  • Hank Green

    This guy is a corruption and should never pretend to represent the people. If he would just say, “I don’t like them and neither do my constituents” you could disagree, but respect his opinion. But this is just cowardice & assumes the population is stupid. Who votes for these people?

  • I referred in a blogpost to the abundant evidence from the UK about speed cameras’ effecitiveness: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/10/do-as-you-like-motorists-and-dont-blame.html The UK evidence unfortunately includes evidence gleaned when populist skeptics like Marty Golden had effective speed cameras taken out again. Guess what? Speeds, which had been falling, went up and people who probably would have lived if the cameras had still been there have died.
    I would sincerely be willing to ride down to Bay Ridge and talk him through the UK experience if I thought it would do any good. The offer stands for any New York city or state legislator. I won awards for my reporting of UK transportation issues and I know the evidence inside out. But I’m sensing that Sen Golden is letting his lower intenstine make the decisions here, rather than his cerebral cortex.

  • Guest

    Is Golden against the NYPD security cameras one sees mounted on posts in poor neighborhoods or is he only against the kind of cameras that catch rich people when they break the law?

  • Eric McClure

    Bingo.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah but in the UK people drive on the wrong side of the road, so none of that evidence is relevant to the US.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Yes, Golden is answering to the P.B.A., and, I think, trying to protect the “car culture” of South Brooklyn. Speeding down there is so rampant, maybe he thinks it’s something more important to protect than the safety of his constituents.

  • Morrris

    We shouldn’t waste money on cameras. We could save even more money if we didn’t buy the cops radar guns, either. Or any kind of guns. Or patrol cars. Or uniforms.

    Yeah, we could hire dozens of cops to stand at street corners in their underwear for the price of a few cameras and and one police officer to send the tickets.

  • Guest

    Corollary: is the PBA against NYPD security cameras on the grounds that those cost them jobs? Or do they only oppose cameras that don’t extend them “courtesy” and hold them equally responsible for obeying the law?

  • Anonymous

    So, how many of the recent pedestrian fatalities occurred in school zones?

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