ELMSFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation on Tuesday restoring the use of speed cameras near schools. Now, some people in Westchester County say what’s good for the city would be good for the suburbs.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello found out Tuesday, there’s a push on to expand speed cameras near schools in the northern suburbs.
In Elmsford, the new school year brings new surveillance cameras to improve student security, and maybe next year speed cameras to improve student safety.
“Lives of children in the suburbs should be treated no different than lives of children in New York City,” Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said.
Feiner has started a push to get speed cameras in Westchester.
As in New York City, that would require permission from the state Legislature. Feiner said he thinks it’s ridiculous lawmakers in Albany pick and choose who gets to install safety measures such as speed and red-light cameras.
“They shouldn’t just be doing safety initiatives for one part of the state and not the other,” Feiner said.
But as they say, be careful what you wish for. Four years ago Nassau County won state approval to put 56 speed cameras near schools. It was a disaster. With technical issues and driver complaints, it was more about raising revenue than protecting students. After just three months, Nassau pulled the plug on the initiative.
“I want to look at the Nassau experience. What was it about their experience that made them want to retract them?” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.
Latimer said speed cameras are worth discussing, but added in his travels around the county they’re not something he hears much about.
“I don’t think you’ll have a consensus, and I think the state will view these things on a case-by-case basis, rather than making a broad general policy,” Latimer said.
Speed cameras aside, as school opens police say they will aggressively enforce the law. So drive carefully.
After the bad experience in Nassau County, Suffolk County also dropped plans to install speed cameras near schools. So New York City is currently the only municipality in the state to have them.