Their message is simple — speed kills. Today, grieving parents and advocates head to Albany to ask lawmakers to lift restrictions on school zone speed cameras, which they say could help save lives.
"Speeding kills more kids in New York City than anything else. It's the number one cause of death for kids 14 and under," said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, during a rally outside City Hall Monday.
"We know that the cameras are working. On the few schools that have speed safety cameras, speeding had been reduced by 60 percent."
Under the current state law, the city can place a maximum of 140 speed cameras near schools. There are more than 2,000 schools in New York City. Those cameras must also be located within a quarter mile of a school entrance, and can only be operational during school days for 12 hours each day.
Parents are pushing for the installation of more cameras in school zones, that will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Public Advocate Letitia James says things need to change.
"Crossing a street should not be a matter of life and death, and our streets should not be death traps for our children."
Grieving parents expressed their sorrow. Dana Lerner's 9-year-old son, Cooper, was killed by a speeding car in January 2014. "We have an epidemic of drivers who are not slowing down and children are being killed."
According to the DOT, since 2013 when the city's first speed cameras were installed under Mayor Bill DeBlasio's Vision Zero plan, speeding around schools with these cameras has dropped more than 60 percent.