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PR- 290-13
September 1, 2013


The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 1, 2013.

“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“One week from tomorrow, the new school year will begin for the 1.1 million students in the city’s public schools; students at private and parochial schools and at yeshivas will soon return to classes, too. And this year we’ll make student trips to and from school safer than ever by installing ‘speed cameras’ near schools around the city. The cameras will help us identify and ticket drivers who are going faster than the speed limit – which, unless it’s marked otherwise, is 30 miles per hour on all our streets.

“The experience with speed cameras in cities across the nation shows that they’re very effective in preventing traffic crashes and saving lives. That’s why our Administration has, for years, worked for a State law permitting us to use them here – a law that the Legislature passed and the Governor signed earlier this year. It authorizes us to install speed cameras within a quarter-mile of up to 20 schools.

“We’ll put them in what we’ve identified as ‘high crash’ locations where driver speeding is also a problem; in fact, earlier this year the City’s Department of Transportation released a map showing 100 such locations near schools where 75 percent of drivers were found to be exceeding the speed limit. We’ll also have the flexibility to move the speed cameras to such sites anywhere in the city – without disclosing which ones – just as we do with the ‘red light cameras’ that we operate. During the first weeks the speed cameras are operating, we’ll issue warnings to speeders; after that, there’ll be $50 fines.

“In recent years – through a combination of traffic engineering, enforcement, and education measures – we’ve made New York City streets safer than they’ve ever been. Traffic fatalities here are down 30 percent since 2001, and our rate of traffic fatalities is half what it is in other major cities. Speeding, however, remains a major traffic safety problem; it was implicated in more than 80 fatalities last year alone. And consider this: If a pedestrian is hit by a car going 40 miles per hour, there’s a 70 percent chance that accident will be fatal. But if a person is struck by a car going 30 miles per hour, there’s an 80 percent chance that he or she will survive.

“Pedestrian countdown clocks; neighborhood ‘slow zones,’ that cut the speed limit on residential streets; red light cameras: These and other innovations are all helping reduce traffic crashes and fatalities in our city. Speed cameras give us another important tool for making our streets safer still. And every motorist in the city has a big part to play in this effort, too. This morning we’re at the midpoint of a long summer holiday weekend when a lot of New Yorkers hit the road to the beach and other getaways. If you’re one of them: Have a great time. But please: Don’t drink and drive. Obey the traffic laws. Make sure that you, your loved ones, and others get home safe.

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”


Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958


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