State lawmakers and city leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to make speed cameras in New York City operational 24/7, according to Mayor Eric Adams.
In a statement released late Thursday evening, Adams said new legislation has been introduced in the state Legislature to allow speed cameras to monitor “dangerous reckless driving” in the five borough 24 hours a day.
State law currently mandates that cameras turn off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as the entire weekend.
“Make no mistake about it, this is a major victory for New Yorkers that will save lives and help stem the tide of traffic violence that has taken too many,” Adams said.
“We are investing a historic $900 million in street safety and redesigning 1,000 intersections across the city – but we cannot do this alone, and my team and I have been working closely with our partners in Albany for months to get this done.”
According to an analysis of traffic deaths in 2020 by Transportation Alternatives, nearly 40% of non-highway traffic fatalities occurred in speed safety camera zones during the hours in which they were non-operational.
As of May 2022, 81 New Yorkers have been killed in traffic crashes, representing a 19% increase over the same period in 2021, according to data provided to NY1 by Transportation Alternatives.
In a press release, Adams' office said speed cameras have been proven to be effective in reducing speeding behavior and noted that in 2021, the majority of vehicles that received one violation did not receive a second.
As of December 2020, speeding at camera locations during hours of operation had dropped by an average of 72%, the mayor's office added. In 2018, one in three deaths, or serious injuries, occurred when the cameras were turned off.