Will Shelly Silver and Albany Finally Save Lives With a Speed Cam Bill?

After efforts to enable speed cameras in New York City stalled in Albany the past few years, a new speed cam bill in the Assembly now has more than 30 sponsors, and introduction of a State Senate bill is expected soon.

Automated speeding enforcement could help prevent crashes like the one that killed the Glauber family. Photo: Shimon Gifter via ##http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/03/04/expectant-parents-die-crash-infant-survives/d7u4OY7mDni3dCqxUXnSrJ/story.html##AP##

The death of Raizel and Nachman Glauber in Williamsburg this week has also brought new attention to the need for stepped-up speeding enforcement. In an opinion piece published in the Daily News today, Paul White of Transportation Alternatives and Veronica Vanterpool of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign point out that the driver who killed the Glaubers was speeding at twice the legal limit.

The bill would enable “a demonstration speed camera program” in New York City. The program would have strict limits, allowing no more than 20 cameras in operation at any given time, with a cap of 40 cameras deployed citywide. Fines would not exceed $50 for driving 10-30 mph over the speed limit, and not more than $100 for speeding more than 30 mph over the limit.

Momentum in Albany appears to be building. This week, Assembly Members Micah Kellner of Manhattan and Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx signed on to the Assembly bill.

Juan Martinez, legislative director for Transportation Alternatives, is confident that support will continue to grow among the 65 Assembly members representing New York City. “I can count the number of members of the New York City delegation who said they would vote ‘no’ on one hand,” he said, “and still have fingers left over.”

A companion bill in the Senate is expected soon from State Senator Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, who sponsored speed cam legislation last year. There is also a possibility that speed cameras could be included in the budget, an alternative route to enacting a stand-alone bill.

TA is asking supporters to contact public officials, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, urging them to sign on to speed cameras.