NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City traffic cameras will begin issuing tickets as part of an initiative to crack down on speeders and stem the rising tide of pedestrian fatalities.
For months, the newly installed cameras have been giving out warnings to drivers caught speeding on certain city streets, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported.
But starting Thursday, the city will begin issuing $50 fines to drivers caught on camera going 10 miles per hour over the limit.
“It’s really good that they’re cracking down,” Upper West Side resident Robin Raskin told Champion. “When they enforce it, things getting better. I liken it to Mayor Giuliani and the spitting in the subway: if you start with the tiny things you get law-abiding citizens,” Raskin added.
While the city isn’t saying where cameras have been installed, by law, they have to be within a quarter-mile of a school.
Eleven New Yorkers have been killed in traffic accidents in the first two weeks of the year, including seven pedestrians.
“We think there is an epidemic here, and it can’t go on,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The mayor, whose plan to eradicate traffic fatalities by 2024 is called “Vision Zero,” said he was commissioning a task force composed of leaders from the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and the Taxi and Limousine Commission charged with coming up with plans to make the city’s streets safer.
“We have to make sure that drivers who excessively speed are stopped before they kill innocent pedestrians and other drivers,” said City Council member James Vacca, who sits on the transportation committee.
Additionally, the NYPD will deploy more officers to enforce against serious traffic violations.
Just hours after the mayor’s announcement Wednesday, a vigil was held for 9-year-old Cooper Stock, who was hit by a cab and killed while crossing West End Avenue with his father Friday night.
De Blasio said he also planned to dramatically expand the number of streets that carry a reduced, 20 mph speed limit and petition the state Legislature to give the city more authority to install traffic cameras throughout the five boroughs.
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