NEW YORK, N.Y. (PIX11) — New York City’s 2,000 speed cameras are now operating 24/7 and officials believe the new law will drastically decrease the number of serious accidents and deaths on the streets.
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration says having 24/7 speed cameras means having one of the sharpest tools against traffic violence. Officials say it will prevent family members and friends from losing loved ones in tragic accidents.
Monique Williams, an advocate with Families For Safe Streets, lost her 71-year-old father to a hit-and-run car crash in the Bronx.
“Twenty-four seven speed cameras will ensure no more families need to experience the pain we’ve all felt at Families For Safe Streets,” Williams said.
Rita Barravecchio, who is also an advocate with the group, lost her 17-year-old niece, Madeline Sershen, when she was hit by driver while crossing the street in Whitestone.
“The driver did not see the red light and did not see her, slammed right into her, and killed her immediately,” Barravecchio said. “It’s laws like this that will help save lives and prevent other families from experiencing this pain.”
The cameras used to run only on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. but will now be on around the clock.
“That means we will no longer leave nights and weekends unprotected,” Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said.
The Department of Transportation says 59 percent of traffic fatalities happened when the cameras were off. A state law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul now allows the cameras to be 24 hours a day, including on weekends.
DOT also says that speed cameras and automated traffic enforcement reduce speeding by 72 percent.
“Speeding kills, but speed cameras save lives,” DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said.
There are 2,000 speed cameras throughout the ctity in 750 school zones and with the 24/7 change, officials say this will save many more lives.
“A city that never sleeps [deserves] a camera system that won’t take a nap,” Mayor Adams said.
Because intersections are the leading site of pedestrian injuries and deaths, DOT has promised to redesign 1,000 intersections to make them safer with improvements like raised crosswalks and expanded pedestrian space. More than 500 have been completed.