The Republican-controlled State Senate refused to return to Albany and renew New York City's school zone speed cameras, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has so far refused to use his power to call a special session. As of today, drivers in the five boroughs can speed knowing they won't be ticketed by one of the 140 speed cameras.
On Wednesday afternoon, the DOT rolled 20 of its mobile speed cameras off city streets and into a garage on Long Island City. Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told reporters that another 20 of its cameras will be stored at the end of August, but the 100 fixed speed cameras will remain on, collecting data.
"We're going to collect the general data about the counts of who is speeding," she said.
"We've been gathering data to show the extent of what speeding looks like around schools, during school hours," Trottenberg said, noting that there has been a "dramatic decline in speeding" since the cameras were operational and issuing $50 tickets to drivers.
"Unfortunately maybe we will get the chance now to see with the cameras turned off, what happens to that speeding data."
Last night, Trottenberg joined City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other elected officials at M.S. 51 in Park Slope for a rally to save the cameras.
"I am sick to my stomach," Johnson told the crowd, before launching into an impassioned speech in which he named the three children from M.S. 51 who had been killed by drivers in recent years: Mohammad Naiem Uddin, Joie Sellers, and Sammy Cohen Eckstein.
"I say their names to honor their memory, and to acknowledge the stakes of this issue, which are life and death," Johnson said. "We will make sure that Senate Republicans see the light on this, or we will vote them out of office this November."
Johnson then named the Republican Senators (and the Democrat who caucuses with them, Simcha Felder).
in a fiery speech at the @TransAlt assembly, @NYCSpeakerCoJo calls out elected officials on not saving the speed cameras.
“shame on all of you. how do you sleep at night? do the right thing for children and nyc. we have had enough!” pic.twitter.com/pprxbBDaO4
— zainab iqbal (@planetzainab) July 26, 2018