Winter 2004, p.16

Safe Streets
Automated Enforcement: A Key Part of the NYC Traffic Safety Puzzle 

Red light cameras work.

Red light cameras work.

Transportation alternatives has been a long-time advocate of automated traffic enforcement methods such as red light cameras, speed cameras and, now, bus lane enforcement cameras on New York City streets. Automated traffic enforcement is widely used around the United States and Western Europe and is proven to reduce traffic injuries, deaths and crashes. The side benefits of automated enforcement are that it enforces traffic laws without discrimination, frees up police officers for more serious crime prevention and puts the cost of the program on violators, rather than taxpayers. London uses hundreds of red light and speed cameras and recently began using 1,400 bus lane enforcement cameras; the city has a similarly sized population but only half the rate of pedestrian and cycling injuries and deaths as New York City.

Fact: In the United States, red light cameras have been shown to reduce the frequency of crashes with injuries at the intersections at which they are installed by an average of 29%.

Sheldon Silver Threatens NYC Red Light Cams with Extinction

T.A. supports the New York City Department of Transportation, the New York Police Department and the Mayor’s desire for more red light cameras for New York City, as do the city council, all five borough presidents and the state senate. But the red light camera program, which is sunsetting in the state legislature this year, is in danger of not being renewed—and ending altogether—because State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, who represents the Lower East Side of Manhattan, does not like them. Last year, in the waning moments of the session, Silver stopped legislation to increase the number of New York City red light cameras from 50 to 75. This year, the City has asked the legislature to expand the program to 100 cameras, and make it permanent. If Silver stops the legislation, the City’s cameras will be removed and New York City, where motorists run a dizzying 1.23 million red lights a day, will have even less enforcement.

Take Action!

Write to Speaker Silver and tell him that New York City needs his strong support for red light cameras.

Sheldon Silver, Assembly Speaker
250 Broadway, Ste 2307
New York, NY 10007

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Another Year, Another Try for NYC Speed Cams

Traffic safety stalwarts State Senator Frank Padavan and Assembly Member Deborah Glick reintroduced legislation in Albany this year to authorize a speed camera demonstration program in New York City. The legislation has died in committee each of the last three years largely because of opposition from Assembly Transportation Committee Chair David Gantt of Rochester. Speaking on the need for speed cameras in New York City, Senator Padavan said, “The success of the red light camera program in New York City would indicate that speed cameras would also be effective at getting people to slow down and in reducing fatality rates. I’m hopeful we can get speed camera legislation passed in both the Senate and Assembly this year and signed by the governor. There have been too many gruesome fatalities in the headlines for us to continue to do nothing.”

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