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Legislation Could Mean More Speed Cameras For NYC, Long Island

Speed Camera

A speed camera on Queens Boulevard. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you speed in a school zone, it will likely cost you big in the future.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Monday, legislation introduced in Albany dramatically expands the number of speed cameras in New York City, and lets Nassau and Suffolk counties install them too.

There was no radar gun on Mayor Bill de Blasio when he threw a knuckle curve ball as the opening pitch of the Mets home opener Monday, but the mayor hopes to have radar guns all around the city to catch people who speed near schools.

“Look, our children are sacred to us,” the mayor said.

And New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) has just introduced legislation to allow the city to increase its speed camera count from 20 to 140, and add 56 in Nassau County and 69 in Suffolk County.

“I think that will be a great sigh of relief for parents,” de Blasio said. “I think it’ll be a game-changer.”

The city has had a pilot program for speed cameras up and running since mid-January. Five cameras in the program have issued 12,162 tickets – for over $600,000 in fines.

A site on Queens Boulevard in Woodside, Queens, was chosen for a camera, because kids going to nearby P.S. 11 and I.S. 125 have to cross wide and busy Queens Boulevard to get to their schools.

Under the law, the cameras must be located within a quarter mile of the school, and they can only be turned on to catch speeders between 7 a.m. and 4:10 p.m.

The speed cameras give out tickets based on your license plate number. If you go 10 miles over the speed limit – currently 30 mph in most areas of the city – you will get a ticket for $50 in the mail.

Failure to pay the ticket tacks on an additional $25.

The mayor, who was booed twice Monday at Citi Field, was hopeful that the state Assembly and Senate members in Albany will not become boo-birds, and will pass the measure for the sake of kids and the safety of pedestrians.

“I think that’s well understood in Albany,” de Blasio said. “That’s why I’m hopeful we’re going to get a good solution.”

As part of his “Vision Zero” pedestrian safety package, the mayor wants a permanent change in the speed limit in the city from 30 mph to 25 mph. That also must be approved in Albany.

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