Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Lawrence Berezin
Will Albany renew the school zone speed camera law?
Jane rushed out of her apartment at 8 am, ran to her car, jumped in, buckled up, and headed out for a drive to her job in Manhattan. Meanwhile, Jane was in an absolute tizzy thinking about the upcoming one-on-one with her boss at 8:30 am. She can’t be late for her meeting. Above all, her raise and promotion depend on it.
Part of Jane’s journey took her past an elementary school. However, Jane wasn’t thinking about the small crowd of children walking to school. And, the parents trying to find some space to drop off their kids. She was running late and had to keep her foot on the gas, and her eye on the prize.
Sadly, it was over in the blink of an eye. Jane is not going to make her meeting.
Could a school zone speed camera with all the flashing lights and signs have alerted Jane to the danger ahead?
School zone speed camera law
In 2013 the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo enacted Sec.1180-b of New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), which granted New York City the authority to pilot an automated speed enforcement program to deter speeding in 20 school speed zones.
The first-speed camera violation was issued in January 2014. In June 2014, the pilot was expanded to a total of 140 school speed zones, in order to support the pursuit of the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries.New York City
Automated Speed Enforcement Program
Currently, there are speed cameras in 750 school zones. They operate Monday-Friday, 6 am-10 pm.
When the cameras catch a vehicle going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, a $50 fine is mailed to the registered owner. Last year, the cameras issued 4,369,250 tickets, up from 1,287,968 tickets in 2017.NY Times
NYC Council takes action to trigger a renewal of the law
City Council members voted 43-7 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 to approve a measure to make cameras in school zones run 24/7 year-round.
The measure has been long-sought by traffic safety advocates, who have decried the current state-mandated set up in which those cameras only operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and not on weekends.
The Council vote dovetailed with state bills shepherded by state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Deborah Glick to renew the speed camera program for three more years and expand its hours to round-the-clock.
Gounardes said the Council members’ vote will effectively put the state bill on a fast track.
“Now the Legislature can take up S5602 and pass it next week, sending this crucial measure to the Governor’s desk,” he tweeted.
State lawmakers have until June 2 — which is when the legislative session ends — to pass the measure.patch nyc
The NY State Senate Bill S5602B
The sponsors of Senate Bill S5602B have been working tirelessly to get it passed before time expires. Meanwhile, state senator Andrew Gounardes is optimistic that the bill will pass:
“I feel reasonably confident that the Legislature is going to renew the speed camera program, and at a minimum extend the hours to operate 24/7,” Sen. Gounardes told Gothamist. “And we’re still discussing ways to crack down on recidivist drivers.”
Can you beat a school zone speed camera ticket?
According to the Evil Empire, there are some defenses that may result in a dismissal. Your evidence must show:
- The ticket was issued outside of the enforceable days or hours.
- That you are not the owner of the vehicle ticketed. For example, there were other cars near yours at the time of occurrence, and the camera captured the wrong car.
- The camera malfunctioned on the date of occurrence.
- Your car was stolen, and not recovered, before the occurrence.
Here’s an excellent post by a great guy who explained how he beat a red-light camera ticket.
Speed kills and so do guns. Likewise, selling assault rifles to a mentally ill 18-year-old boy kills.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Meanwhile, why does the Constitution allow laws that prohibit yelling, “fire” in a crowded theatre? In other words, freedom of speech is not absolute.
Nor is it the right for all people to keep and bear arms. If that were the case, why can’t a 10-year-old legally buy an assault rifle? There is no age requirement specifically set forth in the Constitution.
The majority of people are in favor of the reasonable regulation of firearms. Yet, the Senate refuses to act.
Maureen Dowd writes in the Sunday NY Times
“The political debates here are empty and soulless, with Democrats dodging the issue and Republicans hardening even on mild proposals like universal background checks, which has overwhelming public approval.
‘Most Republicans in the Senate represent deeply conservative states where gun ownership is treated as a sacred privilege enshrined in the Constitution, a privilege not to be infringed upon no matter how much blood is spilled in classrooms and school hallways around the country,” Carl Hulse wrote in The Times.’
Republicans throw up a fog of nonsensical suggestions. Before speaking to the N.R.A. Friday, Ted Cruz said schools should have only one entry point, with an armed guard. Guns don’t kill people. Doors do. During his speech at the N.R.A., Trump suggested turning schools into virtual jails and letting teachers pack pistols in class.”Maureen dowd, NY Times
My prayers go out to all the families in Uvalde, Texas. Above all, the parents, grandparents, and relatives of the angels were taken from you way too soon. “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
Lastly, my prayers to all the past and future victims of gun violence and their families.
When is enough, enough?