Tell Albany Where You’d Like to See Traffic Enforcement Cameras

With Mayor de Blasio looking to gain home rule over NYC’s red light and speed cameras as part of the Vision Zero Action Plan, Transportation Alternatives wants to take your requests for camera locations to Albany.

Here’s why local control is critical: Currently, Albany has limited NYC to a handful of speed cameras that can only be used during school hours and don’t ticket drivers unless they exceed the speed limit by 11 or more miles per hour. State law also limits speed camera placement to “a distance not to exceed 1,320 feet on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting on the highway.” So rather than siting the cameras within a quarter-mile radius of a school, DOT can only put them on streets that go directly past schools. That means streets with dangerous speeding problems can’t get camera enforcement, hampering efforts to keep kids safe.

Though NYC has had red light cameras for two decades, it’s still considered a pilot program, and remains under the control of state lawmakers. The program is up for reauthorization this year, and there are two active bills that would expand its reach. Legislation sponsored by Assembly Member Carl Heastie and State Senator Tony Avella would increase the number of camera locations from the current 150 to 225 and 250, respectively. The program was last expanded in 2009.

Automated traffic enforcement is a proven life saver. Cameras are responsible for more than 95 percent of all red-light running summonses issued in NYC, according to TA, and serious injuries are down 56 percent at locations where red light cameras are installed.

To rally support for more traffic cameras, TA has posted a form for New Yorkers to list intersections “where red-light running or speeding is common.” Multiple forms may be filed to nominate multiple locations.

“As the automated enforcement debate heats up,” writes TA, “advocates will hand-deliver your red-light and speed camera requests to State Legislators.”

TA says the camera request form will be up for at least two months.

  • Ben Kintisch

    It was fun and easy! Woo hoo!

  • Ari_FS

    Wait a second. You say “DOT can only put [speed cameras] on streets with school entrances.” I don’t read the legal verbiage that way. It says “school building” as well as entrance and exit of the building.

    For example, are you saying that DOT can’t install a camera on Queens Blvd if a school there has an entrance 30 feet down a side street?

    If that is correct, it’s a glaring loophole. Please clarify.

  • Brad Aaron

    It’s still a glaring loophole in that the hypothetical school would not make Queens Boulevard eligible for speed cameras unless the building was right next to the street, but you’re right on the verbiage.

    The copy has been corrected.

  • PhotoRadarscam

    I’d like to see them in the Mayor’s office, watching his every move.

    If this is really about safety, traffic engineers should be studying
    locations and making the recommendations. How can anyone possibly know
    where to put the cameras without any scientific analysis? Traffic safety
    is a science, and the lack of interest in using science for this
    problem makes it clear that REVENUE is the motive.

  • guest

    Done! I nominated 3rd Ave at E 7th St and at St Marks Pl in Manhattan. I actually saw cops pulling drivers over in those spots a couple of times in the last few weeks, but enforcement is needed daily.

  • Reader

    The best outcome in the world is that eventually every single one of these cameras stops producing “revenue” and that drivers learn to obey the freakin’ law.

  • Mark Moreno

    There’s been a huge disconnect between the states and its cities. Most states don’t care about it’s cities and as you see, New York State government is constantly Anti-Urban. luckily NYC has some independence from the state (NYC has it’s own DOT) but that alone has not helped pedestrian safety in NYC. Unfortunately, Rochester and Buffalo do no fair well when it comes to human scale development.

  • srd275

    HOW about one to DEMAND A END TO TRAFFIC SCAEMRAS Come on. (Or will you do what more than one camera vendor did and sue to stop a public vote, like one vendor (under bribery investigation did in TX http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/43/4359.asp )

    Or how about a DEMAND TO NYC TO RELEASE THE RLC REPORTS they have been required too. http://banthecams.org/index.php/articles/taking-on-the-government/3966-nyc-has-never-complied-with-law-to-provide-data-on-rlc

    (what did the mayor “ask” that this “editorial” be done??? )

    You do realize at some point bike riders will be next on scameras don’t ya???? http://banthecams.org/index.php/articles/legislative-news/1154-bike-license-assemblyman-envisions-cameras-in-bike-lanes-too or http://gothamist.com/2011/02/28/bike_license_assemblyman_envisions.php

    Quote:

    “Although we do come out with alternatives to enforcement issues,
    putting cameras in bus lanes, for example, it’s the same kind of thing
    we may be able to do someday with bicycle lanes. We would put cameras in bicycle lanes to make sure that bicyclists are wearing their helmets and have their lights on and are riding in a manner which is accustomed to the lane or if they’re being reckless and endangering and hurting others. I believe it also gives more credibility to bicyclists, making them more a part of the road.

    So eventually, if the bicyclist had a license plate and there was a camera in the bike lane, it could be the same effect as when a driver goes through the red light and a camera catches it? It would be similar to that, that’s correct. This is just the beginning aspect of this piece of legislation,”

    Read more on NYC “vision zero equals zero vision: http://alerts.motorists.org/nma-e-newsletter-262-vision-zero-equals-zero-vision/

    http://www.motorists.org
    http://www.banthecams.org
    camerafraud on Facebook

  • srd275
  • AnoNYC

    I agree, this problem is enhanced by our government structure (feds v state). It’s time for the states to allocate more power to the cities. It’s necessary considering the increased influence of urban areas due to an ever growing percentage of our population. A lot more affairs should be strictly home rule (looking at you MTA).

  • Aunt Bike

    You’re assuming the city put them up arbitrarily. I doubt they did. Do you really think NYC DOT doesn’t have actual traffic engineers on it’s payroll?

    Just for arguments sake, let’s ignore the data that in NYC cameras have made intersections safer. Now explain how a city ticketing people for breaking traffic law is so earth-shatteringly wrong.

  • Aunt Bike

    That’s my understanding of it also. Some safety minded Staten Island politicians, in league with some safety minded local media, recently had a speed cam removed because it didn’t comply with the law.

    http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/02/staten_island_speed_camera_app.html

    The camera issued tickets, which might signal to the thinking mind that it was needed at that location, but apparently, it didn’t issue tickets close enough to a school.

  • Daniel

    The traffic enforcement camera opposition reminds me most of the 9/11 denyers. Has anyone ever met one of these in RL? They strike me as true believers and not just simple trolls. But for there to be such strict limits on cameras there have to be some better rationales than the silly stuff they post here.

  • Aunt Bike

    It’s easy to get some people up in arms by simply claiming cameras are for revenue, not safety. Those people will ignore the data on safety, and won’t question how or why it’s wrong for a city to ticket people who break the law. They just swallow and ask for more Kool Aid.

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