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City officials renewing calls for speed cameras after release of NYC traffic fatality data

This past Monday, the New York City Department of Transportation released data on motor vehicle fatalities for 2012 and the numbers were rather disconcerting. In particular, the data revealed that speeding motorists were responsible for 81 fatalities in 2012, a 65 percent increase from 2011, which saw a total of 49 speeding-related fatalities.

According to DOT officials, these shocking figures once again underscore the need for the city to take more decisive action against drivers who choose to flout the posted speed limit. Specifically, they are renewing their calls for the installation of speed cameras throughout New York.

"Too many people still think they can pull a fast one -- that nobody is looking," said Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "These are preventable tragedies."

For now, it appears that DOT officials are one step closer to getting their wish, as the state Assembly approved a budget bill just last week containing a provision that authorized the creation of a pilot program that would install speed cameras in 20 school zones throughout the city.

The budget bill is currently before the state Senate, which is expected to adopt a final budget later this week. Political experts have indicated, however, that the speed camera measure may encounter greater opposition among the more conservative Senate members who may question whether it is the best use of resources.

That is precisely why DOT officials are putting on a full-court press this week urging state lawmakers to approve the measure, which has already gained the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

It will be interesting to see whether the speed camera provision is able to gain the necessary support in Albany over the next few days.

It is worth noting that the 2012 traffic fatality data released by city officials also revealed the following:

  • There were 274 traffic fatalities in the city in 2012, a sharp increase from the 245 traffic fatalities in 2011
  • Of these 274 traffic fatalities, 73 were motor vehicle occupants, 148 were pedestrians, 18 were bicyclists and 35 were motorcyclists

What are your thoughts on the proposed speed camera program?

Stay tuned for updates from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket, don't just dismiss it. Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source:

The New York Daily News, "NYC logged 65% increase last year in fatalities in accidents involving a speeding driver, city says," Glenn Blain, March 18, 2013

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