Behind Closed Doors, State Senators Sentence New Yorkers to Death by Speeding

A small group of senators reportedly obstructed a vote on a bill that would have expanded New York City's speed camera program, effectively guaranteeing more New Yorkers will be injured and killed by speeding motorists.

Senate lawmakers sided with speeding drivers over parents whose children died in traffic. Photo: @carolinesampo
Senate lawmakers sided with speeding drivers over parents whose children died in traffic. Photo: @carolinesampo

State senators failed to a vote on a bill that would have expanded New York City’s speed camera program, effectively guaranteeing more New Yorkers will be injured and killed by speeding motorists.

The Assembly passed legislation to roughly double the number of NYC school zones where speed cameras are allowed by Albany, and there was hope the Senate would follow suit during the special session convened by Governor Cuomo.

Members of Families for Safe Streets made another trip to Albany — their seventh of the session, according to a statement from Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Caroline Samponaro — to implore senators to pass the bill, which would also have extended the program until 2022.

But as they did during the regular session, state senators declined to call a vote. According to TransAlt, a vote was thwarted by a handful of senators, who spiked the bill in private.

From Samponaro’s statement, which you’ll want to read in its entirety:

Today, the New York State Senate failed to vote on a bill to increase the number of speed safety cameras permitted to operate in New York City, and summarily shut down a collective plea for safety and protection from thousands of parents, school children, and senior citizens; from a coalition of hundreds of schools, churches, mosques, and synagogues; and from the New York City Police Department, the New York City Council, and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Amid reports that a small number of senators derailed the passage of this simple safety bill, Transportation Alternatives calls upon these members of the Senate to come out from behind closed doors and explain their obstruction of this vote. Without the deterrence that this expanded camera program would have provided, thousands of New Yorkers will be seriously injured and scores killed in the coming year. This will be blood on these senators’ hands.

Streetsblog will have more on this story later.

  • Ken Dodd

    Let’s see the inevitable parade of crusty, cantankerous old slobs who get driven everywhere and appreciate their driver putting his foot down when they’re late to a meeting, which is probably every meeting.

  • Vooch

    NYC can install ‘communication’ cameras without begging Albany.

    they can send a letter to the car’s insurance company ‘communicating’ the speed.

    Insurance company can then determine the risk profile of the car it insures.
    When a cars insurance rate triples, behavior change dude

    simple, effective, and legal

  • Joe R.

    In the absence of speed cameras, absolutely nothing is preventing DOT from narrowing streets, installing chicanes, adding speed bumps, or taking other measures to reduce speeds around school zones. And there’s absolutely nothing stopping DOT from drastically reducing the supply of curbside parking in order to discourage car ownership and driving. This would actually do more than speed cameras. It’s really the vehicle volumes which are the problem more than their speeds.

    Finally, nothing at all is stopping NYC from making the few blocks around schools motor vehicle free zones during school hours.

  • What a pity , the cameras make smooch sense.
    Let’s not get the DOT off the hook by blaming Albany- so much can be done .. for example changing the signal timing to ensure 25 mph or lower. For example on 7th avenue were it is still 30 mph during the day! ..

  • So True…

  • Brilliant ..

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