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Mayor to Boost Vision Zero Efforts After Speed Camera Bill Doesn't Pass

By Katie Honan | June 30, 2017 5:45pm | Updated on July 3, 2017 7:18am
 The mayor said he was
The mayor said he was "disappointed" the speed camera bill didn't reach a vote in the senate before they adjourned
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was "disappointed" that a bill to add more speed cameras around schools didn't come to a vote in Albany this session — and said the city will now boost other Vision Zero efforts instead. 

While the mayor admitted the idea of more speed cameras was "unpalatable" to some and "not politically easy," he said they are vital.

"They save lives, they save children's lives, they save the lives of seniors in particular," he said at a press briefing Thursday at City Hall.

"The right thing to do was to have the speed cameras in there but I recognize it wasn't an easy lift. But we're not going to give up."

The bill, which was sponsored by Jose Peralta in the Senate and Deborah Glick in the Assembly, called for up to 750 speed cameras in the city, lifting the current cap of 150.

While the assembly voted to nearly double the number of cameras, it didn't make it to a vote in the senate before they adjourned.

Department of Transportation statistics showed speeding at speed camera locations was reduced by more than 60 percent since the program began in 2014.

Injuries at the locations of speed cameras dropped more than 14 percent, stats show. But the majority of serious deaths and injuries take place at times when speed cameras aren't legally on — when school isn't in session. 

De Blasio had rallied earlier this month groups including Families for Safe Streets, urging state lawmakers to pass the bill that would increase cameras as well as the times they can operate.

"Since there can be no doubt that speed cameras save lives, and because we still have so much more to do, we urge the State Legislature to pass this life-saving expansion," he said on June 9.

In place of cameras, he said the city will get tougher on other Vision Zero initiatives. 

"It will simply cause us to redouble our other Vision Zero efforts," like NYPD enforcement and traffic design, he said.