Mayor Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced the start date for the network of roughly 20 cameras that will be installed on a rotating basis near the city's 100 most dangerous school zones. "New York City’s speed limit is 30 mph for a reason, and that it’s literally the difference between life and death," Sadik-Khan said in a release, noting that statistics show that there's a 70% chance a child will be killed if struck by a vehicle moving at 40 mph, and an 80% chance the child will survive if struck by a car traveling at 30 mph.
Speeding was the most common factor in the 274 pedestrian fatalities last year (for comparison, there were 414 recorded murders in NYC in 2012) and its enforcement by the NYPD is pitiful compared to infractions like tinted windows or cell phone usage, which was the most common moving violation summons issued in 2012. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has complained in the past that ticketing speeders is a burdensome process.
"You have to have calibrated devices to give speeding summonses," Kelly said. "You need experts."
Or life-saving cameras, a fact not lost on the mayor, who was furious at the three state senators who torpedoed substantive speed camera legislation in favor of the watered-down, five-year program that was announced today and will formally begin on September 9, the first day of school. From the release:
During the initial weeks of the program and in order to send a message to speeders, DOT will only issue warning notices to motorists found on camera to be speeding in excess of 10 or more miles above the posted speed limit before eventually issuing $50 fines for the offense.
So speeding in school zones is fine, just don't do it more than once.
A look at how many tickets the NYPD issued for speeding through July 2013 compared to the same period last year shows a few significant increases.
Williamsburg's 90th Precinct saw a jump from 50 to 180, an increase of more than 200% (it's unclear how many of these citations were issued to cyclists). Bed-Stuy's 81st saw an increase from 63 to 143. Greenpoint's 94th rose from 358 to 396.
Midtown South, which saw zero speeding tickets for the entirety of 2012, now has 6. Midtown North, which had one in 2012, now has 9.
Still, the area that saw the most speeding tickets in 2012, Elmhurst, Queens, experienced a drop in one of their local precincts, the 115th: 120 last year, compared with 111 this year.