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Mayor Adams to Turn On New York City’s Speed Cameras 24/7 on August 1, Following Month-Long Public Awareness Campaign

June 30, 2022

Multi-Agency, Multimedia Outreach Campaign in 11 Languages Will Remind Drivers About Coming Change

Speed Cameras Are Proven Preventive Tools That Save Lives, Reduce Speeding by 72 Percent

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced that New York City’s speed cameras will begin operating 24/7 on August 1, 2022, following a month-long public awareness campaign starting tomorrow to prepare drivers and all New Yorkers for the change. The city’s 2,000 automated speed cameras were previously authorized by the state to operate only on weekdays, between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, missing the 59 percent of traffic fatalities that occurred when the cameras were previously required to be turned off. A state law signed last week by New York Governor Kathy Hochul now allows the cameras to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speed cameras and automated traffic enforcement are proven, effective safety tools shown to reduce speeding by 72 percent.

“New Yorkers deserve to be safe on our streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and keeping our cameras on is a critical step in that direction,” said Mayor Adams. “Speed cameras work: They save lives, reduce speeding, and help protect New Yorkers all across the city. And we are expanding this proven program to ensure that New Yorkers have that protection at any time of any day.”

“Sadly, we know reckless drivers are on our streets 24/7 — so our cameras must be on 24/7 too,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Thanks to the hard work of many people, our cameras will now be on at all hours, helping to keep our streets safer.”

“Overnight and weekend crashes have become far too prevalent in recent years, and we are so grateful that state legislators heard our call for 24/7 speed-camera coverage,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. “We thank the mayor for his support as we put together an aggressive plan to get this critical law up and running. As we make the nation’s largest automated enforcement network even more effective, we will get out the word about this new law, which will allow us to start saving lives on our streets as soon as possible.”

One graphic that will be part of the public awareness campaign the city will run before turning on speed cameras 24/7 on August 1. Credit: New York City Department of Transportation

The city’s automated enforcement program has been highly effective at both reducing speeding and changing driver behavior when cameras are active. Since the start of the speed camera program in 2014, speeding violations are down 72 percent on average at camera locations in the 750 school zones citywide during the hours they operate. Most vehicles caught speeding have only received one or two tickets since the start of the program. Still, traffic violence and rampant speeding have skyrocketed nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in New York City — and 31 percent of on-street traffic fatalities now occur in camera zones during hours when the city’s speed cameras could not previously operate, inhibiting the city’s ability to identify drivers and take appropriate action.

Starting tomorrow, July 1, DOT will launch a month-long messaging and outreach campaign to inform New Yorkers of the program’s expansion ahead of the August 1st implementation date. Digital and print materials will be available in 11 languages.

The campaign will include:

  • Paid Media: The city will leverage paid and pro-bono media to amplify speed camera expansion communications, with a total investment of $500,000 and a special focus on community and ethnic media.
  • Digital Communications: The city will deploy a 30-day “countdown” social media campaign to provide details of the speed camera expansion and explain the program’s benefits.
  • Physical Outreach: DOT has produced postcards that will be distributed by DOT Street Teams. Ahead of the August 1st change, Vision Zero agency partners will partner on a Day of Awareness — a large-scale, five-borough, on-street event. Finally, DOT will produce a notice that will be included in all speed camera violations.
  • Education Programs: DOT will modify its summer and fall programs in schools, senior centers, and community centers to specifically address the change in the law and the safety benefits of the program.

The new effort follows Mayor Adams’ historic investment of more than $900 million in street safety announced in his Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget. Earlier this year, Mayor Adams also announced a plan to redesign 1,000 intersections across New York City to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

“Speed cameras are an essential tool to keep all New Yorkers, from pedestrians and cyclists to TLC-licensed drivers and passengers, safe from traffic violence — but they can’t be effective when they’re turned off,” said New York City Taxi and Limousine Commissioner (TLC) and Chair David Do. “We are grateful to Mayor Adams, Commissioner Rodriguez, Governor Hochul, and the state Legislature for expanding the city’s speed camera program and ensuring that road users are protected from reckless drivers regardless of the time of day.”

“Turning speed cameras on 24/7, 365 days a year is a critical step towards improving safety and protecting all New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “As a Vision Zero Task Force member agency, we believe that decreasing speed can lead to an increase in traffic safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. Expanding camera hours is one of many tools we can lean on to improve our city and promote safe driving. At DCAS, we expect all of our fleet operators to remain focused and abide by traffic laws, and we encourage all motorists to do the same.”

“Speeding motorists are one of the main causes of traffic fatalities, and we have noticed an increase in this reckless driving behavior since the pandemic began,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster. “The New York City Police Department is focused on the safety of all road users. Expanding the times for automated speed enforcement around the city is another layer of enforcement to help change negative driver behavior. This is clearly a step in the right direction to make sure we protect our pedestrians and cyclists who are our most vulnerable road users. The NYPD supports this technology and will continue to work with our traffic safety partners and the communities we serve to encourage all motorist to drive safely, because traffic safety is public safety.”

“Speeding is a problem that affects all New Yorkers equally, regardless of whether they live in Manhattan or Syracuse,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler. “These speed cameras operating 24/7 will make our roads and communities safer and save lives in the process. I applaud Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul for their leadership on this issue.”

“Until now, speed cameras have only operated during the weekday, although almost 60 percent of traffic fatalities happen when the cameras are off,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “Finally, on August 1, this will be corrected, and we’re grateful to our partners at all levels of government for getting it done. We’ve lost too many of our neighbors to traffic violence, and one of the best tools we have to protect our communities is 24/7 speed cameras. This is an essential first step towards safer streets, and we will keep fighting until pedestrians can walk safely on every block in our city.”

“Speed cameras are proven to reduce dangerous driving and with traffic violence on the rise, we need to be on alert 24/7,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. “Let’s thank Albany, Mayor Adams, Commissioner Rodriguez, and transportation advocates for prioritizing our streets and making the city safer day and night.”

“Speeding and car crashes happen 24/7, so why wouldn’t a tool that’s been proven to reduce both operate 24/7?” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you to our governor, mayor, and all advocates that helped make this decision happen. My office looks forward to amplifying the awareness campaign and helping New Yorkers prepare for the new round-the-clock traffic cameras.”

“Now more than ever, as traffic deaths rise across Manhattan and New York City, we need common-sense solutions, like speed cameras in school zones, to protect New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “There is no denying it. Speed cameras protect New Yorkers, and I am thrilled that they can now be active at night, when speeding is most prevalent and New Yorkers are most in danger. I applaud the mayor, governor, our colleagues in the state Legislature, and advocates for stepping up and pushing for passage of this crucial legislation and look forward to working with them and everyday residents to continue to push for safer streets.”

“Speed cameras save lives — plain and simple,” said New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I am looking forward to August 1st, when they will run 24/7 and when 2,000 stretches of New York City streets will be safer, no matter what the hour.”

“New York’s pedestrians and cyclists deserve to move around our city without fear,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “The data prove that speed safety cameras reduce speeding and save lives — plain and simple. 24/7 speed-camera coverage of our streets is long overdue, and it is a significant stride in our mission to transform New York into a city that protects and prioritizes our loved ones over drivers breaking the law. I thank Mayor Adams and DOT Commissioner Rodriguez for their dedication to making our streets safer. I have supported this measure for years, and I know it will save the lives of countless New Yorkers."

“In a city that doesn’t sleep, authorizing speed cameras to operate 24/7 is the right move and will save lives, period,” said New York State Senator Robert Jackson. “Speeding occurs at all hours of the day and night but increases outside of school hours and beyond school perimeters. We need to use every sensible deterrent in our toolbox to keep drivers and motorcyclists from speeding. Safer streets are a top priority for my constituents and me. I was happy to pass my colleague Senator Gounardes’ bill in the Senate and look forward to our streets being safer for all New Yorkers.”

“Our district has sadly been home to numerous injuries and deaths in recent years, and speed cameras save lives,” said New York State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie. “I’m grateful to my colleagues and Governor Hochul for passing this change into law, and to the mayor and DOT for prioritizing safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.”

“Pedestrian fatalities have impacted many families across Senate District 19, and now our city has stronger tools to address reckless driving taking place at all hours, every day of the week,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “The persistent trends of reckless driving and pedestrian fatalities are entirely preventable.”

“School zone speed cameras save lives, and we have nearly a decade of data to prove it,” said New York State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “I am proud to have been the sponsor of the new law allowing this proven technology to protect our students, faculty and staff, and neighbors from speeding motorists at all hours of the day. I thank Mayor Adams for implementing this lifesaving change quickly and for getting the word out to motorists that speeding around schools will not be tolerated, no matter what time it is.”

“I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to reauthorize and expand the use of speed cameras in school zones because we’re facing a concerning surge in traffic crashes in which speeding has played a role,” said New York State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein. “I look forward to this legislation taking effect and the benefits it will have in keeping our communities safe as well as seeing additional improvements like protected bike lanes, raised crosswalks, and intersection redesigns that will all increase safety on our streets.”

“The data is clear: Speed cameras help save lives, reducing injuries and fatalities for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, and passengers alike,” said New York State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried. “It’s therefore great news that Mayor Adams, Transportation Commissioner Rodriguez, and the administration are moving quickly to increase public awareness before August, when the city’s 2,000 speed cameras will become operational twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the legislation we passed in Albany that was signed by Governor Hochul last week.  Beyond that, the New York State Legislature should give New York City home-rule authority to install speed and red-light cameras wherever the city chooses.”

“Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez do everything they can to end traffic violence,” said New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. “When the entire world saw the horrifying motor vehicle death in my district in February, the mayor and commissioner sprung into action and swiftly made safety improvements. Now they are taking the next huge step forward with 24/7 operation of traffic enforcement cameras. With Mayor Adams at the helm, the only speeding will be the rapid rate at which traffic deaths plummet. If you are skeptical, just look across the Hudson to Hoboken, which has had zero traffic deaths in four years. There is no reason we cannot do the same.”

“This dramatic expansion of New York’s speed camera program will make our streets safer for children and residents, and it is an incredible achievement,” said New York State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “Our city has seen far too many preventable car-related tragedies, and this initiative will help save lives. There’s abundant evidence this program drastically reduces speeding and injuries. I was proud to help pass this bill in the Assembly, and I’m thrilled that the mayor is embarking on a large-scale public outreach campaign.”

“In a city so dominated by pedestrian foot traffic, speeding represents an ominous threat to the daily lives of New Yorkers,” said New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “We cannot continue to live in the specter of vehicular motor incidents, one of the leading causes of premature death in the city. The critical decision to run cameras nonstop will help to disincentivize speeding, thereby reducing the likelihood of pedestrian incidents in our communities and helping us provide safer streets across all five boroughs.”

“The New York City Council is committed to safe streets for all New Yorkers and need smart solutions to curb unsafe driving patterns,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, chair, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “As vehicular incidents continue to rise, the implementation of the Vision Zero campaign and speed cameras are a one part of a larger suite of speed-reducing technology deployed to keep motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists safe. I applaud Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez for prioritizing the safety of all New Yorkers.”

“Speeding doesn’t sleep, and, now, neither will our cameras,” said New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu. “We know that when speed cameras go up, crashes go down. As chair of the Council’s State and Federal Legislation Committee, I introduced the 24-hour speed camera bill to save lives and make our streets safer for everyone. I want to thank the mayor and governor for delivering.”

“Speed cameras save lives. It’s as simple as that,” said New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher. “24/7 operations will allow them to save even more lives and I’m grateful to Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, Commissioner Rodriguez, our state colleagues, and all of the advocacy and community groups who have dedicated so much time and energy to making this happen.”

“I commend Mayor Adams for his continued focus on making streets safer for all users,” said New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer. “Traffic-related deaths are increasing at an alarming rate, and speed is a factor in four out of five fatal crashes. Speed cameras have proven to be an effective tool in reducing speed and must be part of a comprehensive plan to improve safety.”.

“Speeding, reckless driving, and car crashes don’t end outside of school hours,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “This expansion will be literally lifesaving across our city and in my district on the North Shore of Staten Island. This is a step in the right direction, but another important step is placing signage ahead of speed cameras to notify drivers and hopefully change speeding behavior, of which I am a strong proponent. Any extra measure that can be taken toward protecting the safety of our pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers is vital. Our collective goal should always be to improve the public safety and quality of life in our city, and this program will be instrumental toward achieving that goal.”

“Creating a viable plan that promotes street safety is critical to strengthening healthier communities, as well as taking action to save lives from avoidable tragedies,” said New York City Council Member Kevin C. Riley. “Since the inception of the speed camera program, the city has been effective in holding drivers more accountable for reckless driving. However, a disconnect in impact still arises where hit-and-runs, fatal vehicle incidents, and pedestrian/cyclist injuries or casualties are still prevalent in our communities.  I commend the leadership of Mayor Adams and NYC DOT for implementing a citywide plan that enhances the effectiveness of our program after new legislation introduced by Governor Hochul calls to widen the operations of speed-cameras to run 24/7. This further enforcement will ensure safer streets and encourage responsible driving practices at all times. Parents shouldn’t be fearful of their children being struck by speeding vehicles. Older adults deserve patience and caution to reach their destinations safely. New Yorkers using alternative means of transportation have the same right to utilize our roads accordingly without harm. 24/7 speed camera access will help ensure drivers do their part in making transportation safer for everyone no matter the method of travel.”

“Mobility is a fundamental part of making our city function for everyone,” said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman. “As part of that, we need to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety by bringing together members of our community and other stakeholders in favor of smart solutions to make better use of our streets. Operating speed cameras 24/7 is one solution that will enhance safety in our communities, especially around schools where children congregate.”

“On August 1st, our city will be able to protect New Yorkers from speeding drivers 24/7. All of us should be able to cross the street without fearing death,” said Elke Weiss, member, Families for Safe Streets. “Speeding declined 72 percent citywide at camera locations, and each 1-mile-per-hour reduction in speed reduces fatal crashes by 17 percent. Now, these lifesaving benefits will be expanded to every hour of every day.”

“We’re pleased to see the New York City Department of Transportation begin the 24/7 operation of speed cameras,” said Julie Tighe, president, New York League of Conservation Voters. “This is an important step in keeping pedestrians safe and our streets accessible. Thank you to Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, and DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez for their leadership on this issue, which will protect New Yorkers and reduce traffic violence in our community.”

“Speed cameras offer the city another tool in the fight for street safety,” said Tiffany-Ann Taylor, vice president, transportation, Regional Plan Association (RPA). “They deter speeding on city streets and are especially helpful in zones designed to protect the most vulnerable road users. Crashes can happen at any time of day, and with the passage of state legislation, New Yorkers will have an added layer of protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RPA applauds DOT’s multilingual and multimedia approach to messaging to help change driver behavior ahead of the August 1st implementation date.”

“Camera-generated speeding tickets are incredibly easy to avoid — just don’t speed! — and we hope that between the fact that speed cameras have been in use in the city for more than eight years and the city’s month-long outreach effort to would-be violators, it will put an end to specious claims that speed cameras are anything but a tremendous boost to the safety of New York City’s streets,” said Eric McClure, executive director, StreetsPAC. “The effectiveness of speed cameras has been proven over and over, and all but the slowest to catch on and recklessly indifferent drivers quickly learn to slow down. We look forward to the city’s streets becoming appreciably safer with 24/7 speed camera operation come August 1st.”

“Speeding doesn’t sleep, and on August 1st, neither will our speed safety cameras. As New York City faces rising traffic violence, we need every tool available to prevent crashes and save lives,” said Danny Harris, executive director, Transportation Alternatives. “We are grateful to the members of Families for Safe Streets who fought for this lifesaving policy change. Together with comprehensive street redesigns, we’ll be able to protect New Yorkers in every borough around the clock.”

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