NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Twelve states and Washington, D.C. already have them and now New York City wants them — cameras to nail speeding drivers, with fines “accelerating” to $150.
Instead of “the check is in the mail,” city drivers could soon find “the ticket is in the mail” if they step on the gas pedal too hard, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
“I firmly believe that having speed cameras will save lives,” Staten Island Assemblyman Matthew Titone said Wednesday.
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Titone is co-sponsor of a bill that would allow the city to install 40 speed cameras — they look much like the 150 red-light cameras the city already has — in an effort they believe will make the streets safer by deterring speeding.
Under the proposal:
* If you travel 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit the fine is $50
* 10 to 30 mph above the limit and the fine goes up to $75
* More than 30 mph too fast the fine doubles to $150
Assemblyman Titone said he sees another benefit in these tough fiscal times: the cameras free up cops for other things.
“I’d rather, you know, have a camera, technology monitoring traffic infractions and having a police officer out looking for the drug dealer, the pedophile,” Titone said.
Albany lawmakers can expect push back from AAA, which makes the point that while the ticket comes with a fine, drivers aren’t punished by also getting points on their license, the way it is when a police officer is involved.
“New York City’s program not involving any points … it doesn’t look like they’re out to get bad drivers off the road but just make money off of people who happen to be speeding,” AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair Jr. said.
“It makes money for the city for damn sure, but maybe it’s a good idea because too many accidents happen,” said Dr. Arthur Klafter of Staten Island.
“If I were sure in my own mind that everything was done correctly I don’t think I’d have a problem with it because I think speeding is a tremendous problem,” added Les Feuerstein of Staten Island.
“It’s a good thing, but then it’s a bad thing because we’re already paying so much as taxpaying citizens, tolls raising,” Charles Walker added. “Safety is always important but people’s pockets are important as well.”
The speed camera bill could reach the floor of the Legislature as early as January.
AAA also worries that other infractions will be ignored if cops are taken off speed patrol, like drunk drivers and those following too closely.
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