Governor Cuomo: "We know that speed cameras are effective at cracking down on reckless driving - just look at the successful program in New York City which is literally saving lives every day. By signing this measure into law we will ensure motorists who selfishly endanger children and families around Buffalo's schools will be held accountable and help prevent future tragedies."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.231/A.951) establishing a speed camera program in school zones in the City of Buffalo. The program allows the City of Buffalo to enforce speed limits in school zones using cameras that record speeding violations in real time without the need for a police officer at the scene. The City can then use this evidence to impose liability on the owner of the vehicle for the speeding violation.
"We know that speed cameras are effective at cracking down on reckless driving - just look at the successful program in New York City which is literally saving lives every day," Governor Cuomo said. "By signing this measure into law we will ensure motorists who selfishly endanger children and families around Buffalo's schools will be held accountable and help prevent future tragedies."
"We are committed to ensuring the safety of our students getting to and from school in communities across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "No parent should have to question whether or not they'll see their child again at the end of the day. This legislation allows for the City of Buffalo to use speed cameras in school zones to monitor traffic and keep our students free from harm, helping to save lives."
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "Drivers who choose to put our children's lives at risk by speeding in school zones deserve to be held accountable, and this legislation will empower the City of Buffalo to do just that. By allowing the city to implement a system that documents these offenders through speed sensing technology, video, and still images, we're not only saving lives, but ensuring that drivers slow down and put safety first, or pay a price."
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "Vehicles speeding through school zones are a real hazard to our community that have far too often resulted in tragic and avoidable consequences. I am thankful for Senator Kennedy's leadership on this issue and commend Governor Cuomo for signing this critical legislation. The City of Buffalo's students and residents will soon be safer through the school zone speed monitoring demonstration program."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on public safety issues, and for signing this life-saving bill into law. School speed zone cameras and new signage will remind all motorists to slow down, obey traffic laws and will keep our children safe. I am also grateful to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples - Stokes and State Senator Tim Kennedy for introducing and passing this legislation in the Assembly and in the Senate. The work of our leaders in Albany continues to strengthen the City of Buffalo and all of New York State."
Speeding motorists are a pervasive problem in some areas of the City of Buffalo, especially in school zones, where children and families are more vulnerable to distracted, speeding drivers. Speed violations are also often a significant factor in accidents, which may result in death or injury to both motorists and pedestrians.
Under the current law, a police officer must be present at the scene of a speeding violation to observe the violation and serve the driver with a summons. This legislation will develop a system that will supplement police enforcement efforts by using technology to record speeding violations on film or other recording devices without an officer being present.
In 2013, Governor Cuomo signed legislation authorizing New York City to develop a program using camera technology to record and enforce speeding violations in school zones. Upon the program's expiration in July 2018, and after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to extend the authority before the end of the legislative session, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing the city to impose the same fines authorized under the expired law and access data from the DMV to carry out the program for the 2018-19 school year. On May 12, 2019, the Governor signed legislation to reinstate the speed camera program in New York City and expand the number of authorized school speed zones from 140 to 750.
Since the activation of the cameras in New York City, the number of people killed or severely injured in crashes in school zones with speed cameras declined by 21 percent, and the rate of daily violations for excessive speeding has declined by over 60 percent.