In another attempt to try and prevent the hundreds of traffic deaths that occur yearly in the 5 boroughs, the City of New York is promoting the use of speed cameras in addition to the proliferation of red light cameras. Former Mayor Bloomberg had proposed the use of speed cameras throughout the City as a cheaper alternative to having more police officers out on the streets.
You have to ask yourself, is the sudden suggestion of speed cameras based upon pedestrian safety or the need for revenue in the ongoing post-pandemic recession? Mayor Adams has successfully pushed Albany to keep the speed cameras on 24/7 to help generate revenue to fill the expected budget shortfall.
In the first 3 months of this year, there were 59 traffic deaths in New York City, up from the 41 that happened here last year. The New York City Department of Transportation has made it a goal to halve the number of pedestrian deaths in New York by 2030. Why will it need to take 10 years to cut that number in half?
DOT will add many aggressive programs, including anti-drunk driving, anti-speeding campaigns and better engineered streets. I think we are headed in the wrong direction.
I question whether these new cameras will bring about the necessary changes as drivers are more than happy to pay a fine without adding any points on your license. I don’t believe that the red light cameras have changed anything. In fact, I think they cause more accidents because people are forced to stop short when they approach a red-light camera equipped intersection and the light is turning yellow. Inevitably, a rear end collision occurs because the car behind is usually speeding up to make the light. The cameras don’t change the fundamental problem which is driver attitude. Driver’s need to have their behavior changed, not just at intersections where they know a red light or speed camera is installed. I am at a loss to explain how a camera, which only “stops” a driver a week or two after they were actually speeding, is a lifesaving device. Only through real enforcement of our traffic laws and real penalties for drivers will any real change occur.