Speeders in New York, beware. There's a proposed speed camera bill that's gathering support in Albany and could pass the state Senate before the legislative session ends this week.
Should lawmakers favor this piece of legislation, it could mean that up to 40 cameras would be installed throughout New York City and automatic violations will be issued. The tickets will be sent to mailboxes.
Though the idea of installing cameras to police speed has been talked about for some time now, Staten Island Republican Andrew Lanza introduced his version in the state Senate last month.
Under Lanza's bill, this is what would happen:
1. Between 20 and 40 cameras will be installed: These devices will either be stationary or mobile and will be put in place based on demonstrated need. The need for these devices will be determined through several criteria that include, but aren't limited to, the speeding data available and accident history of the area.
2. If it is at all practical, the images produced by these cameras shouldn't identify the driver, passenger or what's inside the vehicle. But if that should happen, it doesn't mean that a driver won't be issued a ticket.
3. There will be a ban included in the law on the use or distribution of vehicle license plate information and other types of information and images caught on the speed cameras, unless being used to show liability and to collect the fines that come with the penalty.
4. The information collected on the camera can, however, be used in response to a request by law enforcement officials who are investigating a specific accident or incidents of criminal conduct.
5. Speeders exceeding the 30 miles per hour limit in the city by 10 miles will be fined $50. Exceed that limit by more than 30 miles and that fine will double. An owner can face an additional $25 penalty for each violation if he or she fails to respond to the notice of liability within the time frame given.
Speeding motorists are a pervasive problem in some areas of New York City, the bill stated. The New York City Police Department issues more than 70,000 summonses each year for speeding violations. Speeding is often a significant factor in accidents that result in death or injury to motorists and pedestrians, including many children and the elderly.
The bill also stated that studies show that if a driver should strike a child while driving at 40 miles per hour, there's a 70 percent chance that child will be killed. At 30 miles per hour, however, there's an 80 percent chance that child will live.
Reducing the number of speeding violations is, therefore, a life-saving endeavor, the bill stated.
New York City's Transportation Department is an advocate for speed cameras. The city is already equipped with cameras that capture drivers who run red lights and ride in bus lanes. The New York Daily News reported that red light cameras brought in $52 million in revenue last year.
Some believe the speed cameras are money-making tactics and that revenue, rather than safety, could be the reason behind the bill.
The camera being set up to record some body's speed does nothing to remove a reckless speeder from the road, AAA's Robert Sinclair told CBS.
Sinclair also said with the speed cameras, It's impossible to be able to defend yourself and we don't think the public would stand for it.