Ernie Fritz spotted the speed-camera car above at 96th street and West End Avenue outside of PS 75 last week. The city operates about 140 cameras to monitor the areas around schools. About 100 of them are mounted at fixed locations, including above traffic signals, and the rest are mounted on city-owned cars that park near schools and change locations periodically.
On the Upper West Side, safety activists have decried the small number of speeding tickets issued by local officers. More speed cameras would likely increase the number of tickets in a hurry — the cameras tend to rack up tickets a lot faster than an officer can. More than 1 million tickets were issued after people were caught on cameras in 2015, versus 130,000 handwritten tickets issued by officers.
The state controls how many speed cameras can be placed in the city, and has historically been reticent to place the cameras. Families for Safe Streets, a group comprised of family members of people injured or killed in crashes has been lobbying for more cameras. Among the people lobbying are Sofia Russo, whose daughter Ariel was killed by a driver on West 97th street in 2013.
Opponents say the cameras are being used as revenue-generators by public officials interested in filling public coffers.
But early results indicate that the cameras do seem to reduce speeding in the areas where they’re placed, according to WNYC.
“If the goal is getting people to slow down, the cameras seem to be working. According to WNYC’s analysis, the number of speeding tickets issued by each camera fell steadily over time.
Crashes dropped, too. In areas where we located installed cameras, there were 13 percent fewer collisions from September through December last year, compared to the same period in 2013. Reducing injuries is the goal, Martinez said, not collecting money. If the program succeeds, people will stop speeding and revenue will fall to zero. Which would be great, he said.”