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City Raises $9M in School Speed Camera Revenue Since January

By Jeff Mays | September 2, 2014 5:26pm
 The city has installed 23 of 140 planned cameras near school zones, realizing $9 million in revenue, city officials said Tuesday.
City to Have 40 of 140 School Speed Cameras by End of Year
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THE BRONX — The 23 speed cameras located near schools have recorded 183,000 violations and brought in $9 million in fines since January — an amount that will likely "more than double" once the city installs dozens more by year's end, according to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

The city expects to have 40 to 50 cameras installed in school zones by the end of 2014, and a total of 140 by the end of next year, Trottenberg said Tuesday.

Police will also use car-mounted mobile speed cameras to rotate among high-traffic accident areas near the city's approximately 1,500 school buildings. The city is still working out how many cameras will be mobile and how many will be stationary. The NYPD and DOT will work with school officials to choose sites for the new cameras.

"We are sending a message that we are not going to tolerate speeding anywhere near our schools," state Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein said in front of P.S. 95 at Sedgwick and Hillman avenues in The Bronx, an intersection the DOT classifies as a  high-crash area.

Klein successfully pushed for legislation in Albany that authorized traffic cameras and lowered the city's speed limit to 25 mph, down from 30 mph.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the cameras "change reckless behavior." The traffic corridor where P.S. 95 is located saw 42 traffic incidents from 2008 to 2012, with seven pedestrian injuries, according to the mayor.

"They make people act differently," de Blasio said of the speed cameras.

Trottenberg said it takes time to install each camera, which costs the city $90,000 to $115,000 each, and to review the potential tickets to insure that motorists are treated fairly.

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said speeding is the top cause of traffic deaths in the city, outpacing even drunk driving, making the cameras around schools even more important.

"Do not be that individual, especially during this school year, that while you're speeding around a school zone you strike a child or, even worse, you kill a child," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.