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New York To Create Largest Speed Camera Program In US
New York legislature enacts bill to blanket Manhattan with more than a thousand speed cameras.

Andrew M. Cuomo
New York is poised to replace Chicago, Illinois, as the home to the country's largest network of speed cameras. A total of 350 red light cameras in the Windy City generated $500 million with $125,904,645 going to Redflex Traffic Systems. The program suffered a major setback when the Australian vendor was caught paying Chicago officials a personal bonus for every camera added to the system. Now Chicago has 161 speed cameras. In New York, legislation adopted last week would allow a private company to blanket Manhattan with more than a thousand speed cameras.

Currently, New York has 290 speed cameras that are able to issue one million automated $50 tickets in 140 areas in the vicinity of a school. The bill introduced by Assemblyman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) allows use of the cameras on any road as long as it is within a quarter mile of an entrance or exit to a school, ramping up the number of areas where they can be used to 750. Glick's bill cleared the Assembly last week with a 100 to 46 vote and the state Senate by a 43 to 18 vote.

The current rules allow speed cameras to be used 30 minutes before a school activity starts until 30 minutes after it is completed. The bill A6449 eliminates the connection to school times so that cameras can be used from 6am to 10pm, even during summer vacation.

The bill currently awaits the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), an enthusiastic supporter of automated ticketing machines. Passage of the legislation was made possible by the shift in the state Senate from Republican to Democratic control. Under its previous leadership, the Senate resisted most of the attempts to radically expand automated ticketing.

"After Senate Republicans shamefully refused to extend this life-saving program, I declared a state of emergency before the start of the school year to temporarily keep the cameras operating," Governor Cuomo said in January. "With this new proposal we will not only reinstate the program the way it should have been done in the first place -- we will also expand the number of cameras."

New York City is the home of the nation's first red light camera program. The city is also expanding to new ways to issue citations. A private vendor will be allowed to issue $115 tickets to vehicles that momentarily cross over into a bus lane. To make this happen, automated ticketing cameras are being added to over 100 buses.

A copy of the enacted bill is available in a 200k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File A6449 (New York Legislature, 3/19/2019)

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