As NYC kids return to school, city doubles traffic safety efforts

In addition to a policing blitz, hundreds of more schools will have speed cameras clicking away as children pour back into classrooms.  Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Since the state approved a marked expansion of the automated camera program in May, the city has increased the number of camera zones from the initial 140 to 360.

In addition to a policing blitz, hundreds of more schools will have speed cameras clicking away as children pour back into classrooms. 
In addition to a policing blitz, hundreds of more schools will have speed cameras clicking away as children pour back into classrooms.  Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The de Blasio administration is beefing up traffic enforcement as the new school year gets underway.

In addition to a policing blitz, hundreds of more schools will have speed cameras clicking away as children pour back into classrooms. Since the state approved a marked expansion of the automated camera program in May, the city has increased the number of camera zones from the initial 140 to 360.

“With schools reopening, we’re doubling down on our effort to protect the most vulnerable among us: our kids,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “With more officers patrolling around schools and hundreds of new spieed cameras coming on line in the months ahead, reckless drivers will hear one thing loud and clear: slow down or pay the price.”

State law allows the city to operate speed cameras during expanded hours in 750 school zones. The city plans to ramp up to the full 750 locations by next summer.

The program has proved effective so far. According to a DOT study, speeding in zones with a camera declined by more than 60%, with the majority of vehicles not receiving a second ticket..

As part of the back-to-school blitz, NYPD officers will be stationed at known dangerous areas along school routes that are not currently covered by the speed camera program, according to the city. Through the month of September, those officers will focus on dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, failure to yield to pedestrian and texting while driving. 

Vincent Barone