Adams ‘flips the switch,’ turns on speed cameras 24/7

Adams 'flips the switch,' turns on speed cameras 24-7.
Adams ‘flips the switch,’ turns on speed cameras 24-7.
Office of he Mayor of the City of New York/Ed Reed

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently flipped a ceremonial switch to mark the expansion of the city’s speed camera program that will help keep New Yorkers safe around the clock.

Beginning Tuesday tonight, the city’s 2,000 speed cameras in 750 school zones citywide will operate 24/7 for the first time, the mayor said.

Throughout July, he said the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and other agencies and offices in the city’s Vision Zero Task Force led a multimedia, multilingual public awareness campaign to inform drivers of the coming change, and remind them to drive safely and responsibly.

Adams said speed cameras and automated traffic enforcement are “proven tools that prevent dangerous behavior and crashes, reducing speeding by 72 percent on average.

“Traffic safety is public safety, and today marks the start of a new chapter for traffic safety in our city,” he said. “This is a promise made and promise kept: Together with Deputy Mayor Joshi, Commissioner Rodriguez, and advocates, we fought to get this done in Albany.

“We must ensure that everyone can share the street space safely, and 24/7 speed cameras will protect our city and save lives,” he added.

“Speeding kills. With cameras on 24/7, New York City gains an important lifesaving tool against this reality,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “On behalf of all road users, I want to extend deep gratitude for all those who fought tirelessly for this important advancement in roadway safety.”

“We know speed cameras save lives, and, starting tonight, we expect to save even more of them,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We offer special thanks to the advocates who made today happen, especially Families for Safe Streets, who have turned their pain into purpose.”

Adams said the city’s 2,000 automated speed cameras were previously authorized by the state to operate only on weekdays, between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. – missing the 59 percent of traffic fatalities that occurred when the cameras were previously required to be turned off.

A state law supported by the Adams administration and signed in June by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul now allows the cameras to operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The mayor said nearly one-third of on-street traffic fatalities occur in camera zones at times when cameras were previously not permitted to operate.

The expansion of the speed camera program marks another major action of the Adams administration to keep New York City’s streets safe.

Already this year, Adams has made a historic commitment to invest more than $900 million in critical street safety initiatives; laid out a plan to redesign 1,000 intersections across the city to protect pedestrians, cyclists and drivers; and launched a $4 million campaign targeting speeding and reckless driving.

“The NYPD is committed to driving down fatalities,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster. “Extending the hours of speed cameras in our communities is another layer of enforcement that will hold reckless drivers accountable and protect our most vulnerable road users. We support this technology and will work with our Vision Zero partners to educate the public. The message is clear: Slow down. Everyone should drive safely because traffic safety is public safety.”

“The Sheriff’s Department understands the urgency to take corrective action,” said New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda. “We will continue to identify these violators and hold them accountable for endangering our community.”

“Speed cameras are a critical component for reducing traffic-related injury and death,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “This expansion will have profound benefits for the health and safety of New Yorkers. Reducing speeds on our roads will not only save lives, but it will also spare us from preventable loss and trauma that results from traffic crashes. Thank you to the mayor and DOT for this pivotal contribution to public safety and public health.”

“Speed cameras are an essential tool to keep all New Yorkers, from pedestrians and cyclists to TLC-licensed drivers and passengers, safe from traffic violence – but they can’t be effective when they’re turned off,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair David Do. “We are grateful to our government and advocate partners for helping to expand the city’s speed camera program and ensuring that road users are protected from reckless drivers regardless of the time of day.”

“Today marks a huge victory for Vision Zero and promotes safe driving, increased accountability, and heightened focus,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “With the activation of speed cameras 24/7, 365 days a year, our streets will be safer, we’ll reduce traffic incidents, and we’ll save lives. As a Vision Zero Task Force member, we believe in setting safety standards that improve quality of life and protect all New Yorkers.”

“Nobody should experience the pain of losing a loved one to traffic violence,” said Monique Williams, member, Families for Safe Streets, whose father was killed by a hit and run driver in the Bronx in 2021. “Unfortunately, these deadly crashes are spiking in the Bronx, where fatalities are up 50 percent over last year. We need to expand the Vision Zero tools that work, and that is why we are thrilled to see our speed safety cameras turning on 24/7 starting tonight. With this change, we will prevent reckless driving, make streets safer, and save lives every hour of every day.”

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