Be on the lookout on New York streets, because a fresh wave of traffic cameras are coming to almost every neighborhood in the Big Apple. In an effort to reduce speeding and reckless driving in residential areas, 2,000 speed cameras are being placed around the city, so you might want to think twice before racing to beat the light.
Speeding and reckless driving are both negligent behaviors, and two of the major factors that result in car accidents. These cameras are being instituted to catch negligent drivers and to act as a deterrent for people who wish to drive in a dangerous manner.
Say Cheese to the New Cameras
With the rollout of these new cameras in early July, the hours that traffic cameras will be active will also increase. Now, New York traffic cameras will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, year-round.
The majority of the cameras will be placed in residential, 25-mph zones throughout the city. When one of these cameras catches a car driving 10 mph over the speed limit, a $50 fine will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. All the cameras will be overseen by city transportation officials, who have also hand-selected the locations in which the cameras will be placed.
Do Traffic Cameras Actually Prevent Accidents?
Those who support the initiative believe that they do, in fact, lead to people driving in a safer manner. According to city traffic data from 2012 to 2016, the number of accidents around areas with traffic cameras dropped by 15%. In that exact same time frame, the rate of severe injuries fell by 17% and fatalities dropped by a whopping 55%.
Critics of the initiative feel that the cameras do nothing to prevent accidents, and only serve as an opportunity for the city to generate money. The existing traffic cameras have already generated 5.2 million citations, garnering $228 million in fines since they have been implemented.
City officials expect to have 300 cameras operating in 215 school zones by July 11th, when the expansion takes effect, and plan to add between 40 and 60 new cameras per month through the end of 2021.
Here at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we do not know how effective or accurate these new cameras will be, but we do hope they have the desired effect of curbing dangerous driving habits and make traffic accidents in New York City less frequent. If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident with a negligent driver, contact our legal team at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation.