With Speed Cams in Silver’s Budget, Council Calls on Albany to Take Action

This morning, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, and council members Jimmy Van Bramer, Stephen Levin, and Leroy Comrie joined street safety advocates in calling on Albany to pass legislation allowing a speed camera demonstration program in New York City.

“Speeding is the number one cause of fatal crashes in New York City,” Quinn said in a statement. “Speed cameras are a smart detriment that will reduce speeding and help save lives.”

Council Members Stephen Levin, James Vacca, and Jimmy Van Bramer join Speaker Christine Quinn this morning, calling on Albany to pass speed camera legislation. Photo: @ChrisCQuinn/Twitter

The push comes as Speaker Sheldon Silver has included speed cameras in the Assembly’s budget. The measure could be enacted if it survives budget negotiations with the Senate over the next week, followed by Governor Cuomo’s signature.

A majority of the New York City Assembly delegation supports the speed camera bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Deborah Glick. An accompanying bill is expected to be introduced soon by State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Staten Island Republican. Previous automated speed enforcement efforts have stalled in committee, but advocates hope the swell of support will put the effort over the top this year.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been,” said Transportation Alternatives Legislative Director Juan Martinez.

The program would be limited to no more than 20 cameras in operation at any given time, with a cap of 40 cameras deployed citywide. Fines would not exceed $50 for driving 10-30 mph over the speed limit, and not more than $100 for speeding more than 30 mph over the limit.

In a press release today, Transportation Alternatives included supportive statements from Assembly members representing a broad swath of the NYC region: Jeffrey Dinowitz and Luis Sepulveda of the Bronx, Richard Gottfried, Micah Kellner, Dan Quart, and Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, Alan Maisel of Brooklyn, Araella Simotas of Queens, and Harvey Weisenberg of Nassau County.

Council Member Van Bramer has a resolution dating to 2011 that urges Albany to pass speed camera legislation. His office expressed confidence today that the resolution will pass the council soon.

Yesterday in Van Bramer’s district, 16 year-old Drudak Tenzin was killed on the sidewalk by a driver who jumped the curb. Police say he was speeding through the intersection, but will not face charges.