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Teachers Union Wants Speed Cameras at #EverySchool

Image: Transportion Alternatives
Image: Transportion Alternatives
Image: Transportion Alternatives

The United Federation of Teachers, which represents the teachers and para-educators of the New York City public school system, wants Albany to let NYC install life-saving speeding enforcement cameras at all its schools.

Current state law limits NYC to 140 speed cams that must be placed near school zones and operate during school activities. That means 93 percent of schools don't have automated speed enforcement.

Assembly Bill 9861, proposed by Assembly Member Deborah Glick, would allow the city to operate speed cameras at every school in the five boroughs, at all hours, and make the program permanent (it currently sunsets in 2018).

Last month, the UFT passed a resolution supporting Glick's bill and posted the text on its website: "Be it... resolved that the UFT supports the #EverySchool campaign to join with the voices of parents, educators and children who demand protection for all pedestrians from speed-related, avoidable traffic accidents."

The union and its statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers, circulated a similar memo in Albany in April [PDF], which argued that the speed camera program has proven its value:

Research has shown and the demonstration project has confirmed a considerable reduction in speeding violations occurs when these devices are installed. Now is time to expand this proven program to the rest of the city.

Glick's bill currently has 28 sponsors in the Assembly, and Queens Democrat Jose Peralta has introduced the same bill in the State Senate. But the Senate bill has yet to pick up a sponsor from the Republican-Independent Democratic Conference majority coalition. The bill will likely need the support of Senator Jeff Klein, who successfully steered previous speed camera legislation through the Senate. Klein has been noncommittal on Glick's proposal.

On Thursday morning, Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets will rally for the speed camera bill at City Hall. The rally starts at 8:40 a.m. RSVP here and be sure to wear yellow.

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