City lawmakers want to expand the number of speed cameras to crack down on reckless driving and traffic accidents, but that requires approval from Albany. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Although traffic fatalities are down for the first three months of the year, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing ahead with his Vision Zero traffic plan, including adding speed cameras that would automatically ticket speeding drivers.
"It’s a big priority for us because Vision Zero's a big priority for us," said de Blasio. "And even though, as you've seen from the initial statistics from the first quarter of this year, there has been some real progress in reducing crashes and reducing fatalities, we have a lot more to do, and we think that speed cameras play a crucial role in that effort."
Last year, the city enacted a pilot program, but a bill before the legislature this year would greatly expand it, and also send cameras to parts of Long Island for the first time.
"We currently have 20 cameras. This would add an additional 120 to the city, and the numbers in Nassau and Suffolk are in the 50 to 65 range," said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick of Manhattan.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the sponsor of the bill.
"Well, we're waiting for a home rule message. We need a home rule message from the various counties that are involved in the speed camera bill that we've put out," said Silver.
Advocates for additional cameras say stricter enforcement will greatly reduce the number of fatalities.
"We all know that people can survive being hit by a car if the car is going slower than 30 miles an hour. If they're going 40 or above, you have almost no chance," Glick said.
Last week, supporters of the bill were hopeful it would pass during the marathon budget vote Monday.
"We did not get to that in this budget, but we will," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Senate has also been supportive. Senate co-leader Jeff Klein, who represents the Bronx, pushed hard last year to get the pilot program approved on the final day of the legislative session.