NYC Needs Control Over Speed Cameras as Traffic Deaths Pile Up, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez Says

By Clayton Guse, NY Daily News

To address a surge of roadway deaths, the city needs control over the cameras that automatically issue speeding tickets, city Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said Friday March 11.

At least 53 people have been killed in New York City car crashes so far in 2022 — the most recorded at this point in the year since 2013.

The surge follows a bloody 2021 on city streets, when 273 people were killed by motorists, the most in a calendar year since before former Mayor de Blasio took office in 2014 and launched his “Vision Zero” program, which had the goal of ending traffic deaths in the city.

Cracking down on dangerous drivers is made harder by lawmakers in Albany who have for years limited the hours when the speed cameras can be active, Rodriguez said at a news conference.

A law passed by the Legislature in 2019 allowed New York City to roll out hundreds of speed cameras in 750 areas near schools. The cameras issue $50 fines to motorists who go more than 10 mph over the limit — but are only allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays.

Rodriguez said 70% of fatal crashes near schools occur during times when the speed cameras are off. He called for state lawmakers to give the city “home rule” over the program.

“New York City deserves to have the control and decide everything related to automatic enforcement — anything related to speed cameras,” said Rodriguez. “I want all New Yorkers to support New York City to get home rule… This should be a bipartisan issue.”

Rodriguez also pointed to plans announced earlier this year by the Department of Transportation to redesign 1,000 intersections as a way to improve safety for pedestrians. So far this year, 25 pedestrians have been killed in vehicle crashes in the city.

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