DOT: Need to watch drivers near schools
The New York City Department of Transportation wants the state to approve the installation of speed-enforcement cameras, with a focus on deterring lead-foot drivers near schools.
The agency released safety statistics for 2012 and identified 100 priority areas around the five boroughs where at least 75% of vehicles were found speeding within a quarter-mile of a school.
"The streets around our city's schools are the real speed traps, and we can't play it safe when it comes to doing everything we can to protect New Yorkers on our streets," Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.
Almost half of the city's hot spots were located around Brooklyn schools, the most out of the boroughs. Nearly three dozen Queens schools made the top 100.
The department's safety statistics for 2012 showed that speeding accounted for 81 of the 274 fatal road crashes in 2012.
Most of the increase in traffic fatalities over 2011 involved motor vehicle occupants. They accounted for 73 of the 274 traffic deaths, as opposed to 50 fatalities the year before.
Sadik-Khan said the city is continuing to maintain historically low fatalities on the street.
In 2001, the year before Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered office, the city recorded 393 traffic deaths. By the end of 2008, there were 291 fatalities.
The state must authorize the city to install speed cameras. Currently, the city is limited to using 150 cameras to catch drivers who run red lights.
"Just as red-light cameras reduced infractions at intersections where they were installed, we anticipate that speed cameras will result in greater compliance with posted speed limits," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.