Safety of NYC Streets Again Depends on State Senator Marty Golden

The Assembly yesterday passed legislation that would expand NYC’s speed camera program by 120 cameras, bringing the total to 140. The bill, which also allows speed cameras in Nassau and Suffolk counties, was referred to the Senate rules committee this morning, bypassing the transportation committee. Rules is the last stop before a bill moves to the floor for a vote.

State Senator Marty Golden. Photo: ##http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/martin-j-golden##NY Senate##

As the leader of the NYC delegation, Marty Golden will be key to pushing this legislation through the Senate. Golden objected to introducing speed cameras to NYC streets last year, but eventually voted in favor of the small pilot program. Streetsblog has asked Golden’s office if he supports the current bill.

As it stands, new cameras allowed by Albany would be subject to the same restrictions as the 20 cameras the city has now, which can only be used near schools during the school day, though most fatal crashes occur during evening and nighttime hours and on weekends.

“Passing this legislation brings us one step closer to ensuring the safety of our children as they travel to and from school,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly.” Governor Cuomo has signaled support for the bill.

Automated enforcement is an essential element of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan. From a statement issued by the mayor’s office Monday:

With the Assembly’s vote today, we are one step closer to the expansion of school slow zones throughout our city where we can install speed cameras, allowing us to protect our children and make our streets safer. This bill will truly save lives.

Speeding is one of the primary causes of pedestrian fatalities, and addressing this epidemic has been a priority for my administration from the beginning. We can no longer accept these fatalities as inevitable.

The Daily News reported today that the Senate “may push for several amendments.” A source tells Streetsblog that some Senate lawmakers may want to reduce the number of cameras, and are afraid that towns upstate will want cameras as well. How to spend the revenue is also reportedly a point of contention. CapNY reports that Queens Assembly rep Michael DenDekker, who voted for the bill, “suggested the revenue go toward hiring crossing guards.”

There appears to be no discussion among legislators on lifting restrictions on where and when NYC can use speed cameras in order to further reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths.

The City Council will take up a resolution Wednesday asking for local control of traffic cams.

  • Charles

    Is there anything that shows more clearly the windshield perspective of certain politicians than this debate? They are far more concerned about speeding drivers getting “dinged” by a $50 ticket and the prospect that local governments might raise revenue from the tickets than they are about street users who are put at risk of serious injury and death.

  • Parent

    Is there a typo in this story? 140 cameras? Just 28 per borough? Surely it must be 14,000 cameras. Anything less than that is a joke and surely not something any reasonable person who has the public’s health and safety in mind could object to.

  • I love the wry humor of this remark. Reasonable people? The public’s health and safety in mind?

    Unless, of course, it’s a simple error and you just didn’t realize you were commenting a story concerning the New York State Assembly.

  • jooltman

    The dead don’t vote.

  • JK

    True, but most incumbents in the NYS legislature have no competition, so voting mostly doesn’t matter.

  • Mat50

    NYC Traffic Regulations override the NYS VTL in city limits. So…why can’t the city be more autonomous with cameras?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Golden is concerned that NYC only has 2.8 times the national average number of police officers relative to population, and just 100 officers per square mile. He wants to keep the blackmail in place.

  • Bolwerk

    Well, automated cameras don’t beat up blacks. Or discriminate at all, in fact.

  • Kevin Love

    It does not take five automated cameras to beat up an 84-year-old man.

  • Kevin Love

    They do in Chicago!

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