Time is running out to reinstate 140 city speed cameras near schools, and the city’s comptroller wants concerned New Yorkers to join the fight.
Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office launched an online petition Tuesday that urges State Senate leaders to reconvene and renew the school safety speed camera bill. Senate Republicans failed to reach an agreement and renew the bill as part of the state budget agreement earlier this year and, as a result, 120 cameras in the city were turned off last month and 20 more will shut off on Aug. 30.
Stringer said the situation has left parents concerned about the safety of their kids as they return to school on Sep. 5.
“We have heard enough from the people in Albany. We haven’t heard enough from the parents,” he said at a news conference on the Lower East Side.
In addition to hosting the petition on comptroller.nyc.gov, Stringer’s office will send representatives door-to-door throughout the city to sign the letter.
A report released by his office in March found that 3.5 million tickets have been issued to drivers caught by traffic cameras in school zones since 2016. The city’s Department of Transporation still collects data from the deactivated cameras, and Stringer’s office said since the cameras went dark, 132,253 drivers were caught going more than 10 miles per- hour over the posted limit in school zones.
Other elected officials and advocates have called for a special session to pass a renewal bill for the pilot camera program.
Paul Steely-White, executive director of the nonprofit transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said there has been strong, widespread support for the cameras, and that he could not fathom why state Republicans haven’t passed it.
“You’d think they would look at their own polls,” he said.
A GOP state Senate spokeswoman blamed Albany Democrats for impeding progress on the cameras.
“Senate Republicans have repeatedly stated that they are willing to extend the speed camera program,” she said in a statement.