Thursday, December 18, 2014

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The Call Blog: $55 Million Generated From Traffic Tickets

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The City budget is $75 billion. The money generated from traffic infractions is $55 million. A drop in the bucket. Yet many of our viewers feel drivers are unfairly targeted. Mostly because pedestrians break the law daily and rarely get fined. If the City ever starts ticketing jaywalkers, the coffers will burst.

Bad drivers are helping to fill New York City's coffers. According to the Independent Budget Office, the City received $41 million in revenue this past fiscal year from camera-generated red light, bus lane, and speeding summonses. In addition, another $14 million in ticket revenue came from violations written up by police officers.

The IBO reports revenue generated by traffic-enforcement cameras rose from 38 percent in 1999 to 75 percent in 2014. Mayor de Blasio's budget estimates $62 million in fines for the upcoming fiscal year, given that Albany approved another 120 speed cameras for the five boroughs. The news comes after several traffic-related crackdowns as part of the new Vision Zero initiative.

What's your reaction to the City generating $55 million in revenue from traffic violations? Do you welcome even more enforcement? Should the Department of Transportation install a red light camera or a speed camera where you live? Are these initiatives changing the way New Yorkers drive?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I don't like the idea of more cameras but $55M could pay for a lot of teachers. Who benefits from the revenue? If the money is properly allotted to areas in need I don't have any objection to raising money.


When it comes to speed cameras, they should have signs that are visible and noticeable. The speed limit of 25 miles,(on busy streets such as Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn) is absurd,except in school zones. They should ticket pedestrians that are also reckless by using cell phones or blasting their headphones.



I approve of red light cameras in all locations in NYC. However, we need uniformed officers issuing safety violation summons all the times. Two cars almost took me out on first avenue Sunday morning when I was crossing with the light in the crosswalk.

On another off topic note, I was talking with a neighbor who credits you for pulling NYer's through the dark days of 9/11 and it's aftermath. What you did and do is affect people's lives.

Midtown East

I'm a big fan first off.

Staten Island over here. These cameras and lowering the speed limit is one of the silliest things ever to happen to NYC. We already have traffic. If people are worried about their children getting hit, well then put them on a leash because when I was younger we weren't allowed in the streets and because if that we are all alive. Bottom line get rid of the cameras, speed cameras and bike lanes.
Thank you.


Hello, my name is Michael. My opinion is that it is a combination of both bad drivers and idiot pedestrians who don't pay attention while constantly looking down at their cell phones. I do believe the idea of installing a red light camera is a good thing and hopefully this will lead to safer streets in NYC.

Hi I think the cameras are good but I think the city will make way more money wit jail walk people waiting for the light to cross the street on the middle of the street they don't respect the signals I see this every day all day in the city and the same in queens


John & The Call -

I agree with Kevin who sent a Twitter message about license suspension for reckless driving. I agree with the installation of more red light and speed cameras in New York City. I see that one of the video clips on tonight's show displays Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island. It should be re-named Hylan Speedway especially in the summer season. If everyone is so upset about the fines, slow down and obey the laws. Let's also get some of the local Staten Island officials to applaud this initiative for safety.

I see no reason for signage for the location of these cameras since the incentive should be for drivers to obey the laws at every intersection. What is next for the NYPD to be required place signs for speed traps as well?

John, Oakwwod

hey John, you want to know if the red light, speed, bus lane cameras are geared towards revenue or not??? Even the port authority who makes a killing every year on motorists..sends you a warning letter that you went through a toll too fast.. (since the warning I haven't repeated the issue again) maybe the New York City finance department should take note of this practice..


Hi John,

In the last year driving in NYC, I thought drivers were intoxicated. Then I started to notice it was drivers on their phones, swerving into lanes and stalling at lights. The Police should go undercover and ticket drivers at stop lights who are on their phones.

A) very dangerous to everyone around them (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists)
B) everyone is on their phones
C) Charge a pricey ticket for being on their "smart phones"


I feel the city broke all rules for citi bikes by not requiring the to wear a helmet, any other cycles would get a ticket for not wearing


I say install more of them -- and make them less conspicuous -- also on the highways like LIE to catch those dangerously speeding trucks and cars. Most of the fatalities are on highways.


Bicyclist need to be held responsible, too. It's hard to sometimes see them at dusk and night and it's very tricky with children and dogs! They come from all directions and follow no traffic light rules. Baffles my mind!

-I. , UWS

Hey John,

Speed doesn't kill. Bad driving kills. The test for a learner's permit can be passed by a 5th grader and the road test is an utter joke. If we had real requirements and training for drivers before they hit the road, and people, I'd bet you a speeding ticket the deaths would plummet.


This is just another way to squeeze the life out of the have nots. Pretty soon you'll be ticketed for walking and chewing gum. In response to registering bikes: idiocy at its finest. Might as well start registering feet.

From Joe in Queens

They should take it a step further, and NYC should handout tickets to bikers who don't wear helmets. They should also charge at least 35$ to register bikes as well. 55 million, in reality, is not much if you really think about it.



It is a sad commentary when the only motivation our local government has is based solely on revenue. What’s next? A quota? I am all for the new plan if they can enforce the law and not wait until multiple violations occur until they impound a vehicle.

Bklyn Hgts

Cars that stall due to neglect, and hold up rush-hour traffic should be ticketed. Yesterday on the Cross Bronx in late pm rush-hour, we encountered TWO stalled cars, one after the other. Traffic was backed up to hell. If people neglect to service their cars, and it creates a major back-up, they should pay a fine.


The new law results in increased revenue and, more importantly, increased safety for all citizens. Violators will think twice and the program is enforced at minimal cost to taxpayers. Well done, Mayor de Blasio!

Karen, Bay Ridge

Hi John,

I guess this is all DeBlasio can brag about. Other people get a slap on the wrist for other crimes and end up not even spending time in jail at all. Plus they let everyone out early from jail. So once again we have polls/percentage whatever in their favor. So I guess you have extra money and so you can lower our taxes. Oh! how foolish of me to think we would ever get a break because you spend your time giving away the store at our expense.

Thank you John,

Imagine the revenue that could be generated if the police also enforced the jaywalking laws. I think the city could reduce taxes by a half if that ever came to pass. Not to mention the number of accidents that would be averted.


I'd like to see a police car chasing every car I see doing something illegal behind the wheel of a car, in my neighborhood. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't get cut off by some jerk who needs to be 1 car in front of me at the next red light or the other jerks who make a 1 lane roadway into a 2 lane roadway (in each direction) and then the other ones who think that octagonal shaped red & white sign is meant for everyone else but them. Where are all these cameras they're talking about - perched above bus lanes to catch those who are making a right turn and god forbid they get in to the lane and realize their turn is the next corner and not the one coming up - or the other driver who is not wearing a seat belt, using his/her cell phone etc. The red light cameras are at heavily traveled intersections, not on the ones in my neighborhood where in 1 avenue block there could be 3 or 4 lights one after the other and some drivers just think it's not meant for them. Let's not even mention the pedestrians that cross no matter what the traffic light is saying, cross anywhere in the middle of the street, not even looking to see if a car is coming down the block. Didn't these people learn the saying "Cross at the Green and not in Between" or learn that jaywalking is illegal. Yet if something happens, it's the driver's fault. Why aren't we teaching our children the rules for crossing the street before they are old enough to go off on their own and why aren't adults following the rules they were taught when they were kids? Yet, again, it's the driver's responsibility. If a person walks out in front of your car and the machine you are driving just can't stop quick enough, it's your fault. Even at 15 miles an hour, a car needs time to stop.

Jessica, Arden Heights


This increase in traffic fines will do nothing to stop speeding, dangerous lane changes, school crosses, etc. It will just continue to make more and more money. People don't make life style changes just because traffic lights, speed bumps, cameras, etc.

And what about bicycle infractions? There's a great source of money from fines. But the powers that be won't require licensing, registration, riders license, front and rear lights and turn signals. So they get away with any infraction.

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