Majority Leader Van Bramer’s Statement on the Passage of Speed Camera Home Rule in the City Council

On Thursday, June 15th, the New York City Council passed a Home Rule Message echoing my resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass legislation to allow the installation of speed cameras in 150 more New York City school zones. I'm proud to have led the charge for the expansion of the speed camera safety program, most recently demanding the safety program’s expansion on the steps of City Hall on Friday, June 9th with transportation safety advocates.

 Speed cameras save lives. And each day a school goes without one, it endangers the lives of children. Only 7% of New York City students attend a school with a speed camera in use because of a limit imposed by State law, leaving an unacceptable amount of students without the proven protection that speed cameras provide when they go to and from school each day. Today, the City Council and Mayor stand united in calling on the State to protect our children by expanding the speed camera safety program.

Currently, the number of speed cameras in school zones is limited to 140 by State Law, leaving 1800 schools without protection. Today’s Home Rule calls on the State Legislature to allow an additional 150 speed cameras in school zones throughout the City, bringing the total to 290 speed cameras.

Data shows that speed cameras are an effective method to discourage speeding and protect children traveling to and from school. A study by the New York City Department of Transportation reports that the risk of death from being struck by a vehicle jumps from 5% to 45% when the speed of the vehicle is increased from 20 to 30 miles per hour.  In 2013, New York State law conducted a five-year demonstration program that allowed 140 speed safety cameras to be used near schools during school hours. After the program, the NYC Department of Transportation reported a 60% drop in speeding infractions in locations where speed safety cameras had been installed.

Additional information on the Home Rule:
The State Legislature can pass “special laws” that affect a part of the state, like New York City, when the local government, like the City Council and Mayor, requests the enactment of special laws in the form of a municipal home rule. The passage of today’s home rule indicates that both the City Council and Mayor are in agreement in calling on the State Legislature to pass Senate Bill 6046 and State Assembly Bill 7798 to expand the speed camera safety program to 150 more school zones in the City of New York.