Speed Camera

Speed Camera Update: More People Being Caught (But Fewer During the Day)

City officials were right — there is a lot of speeding overnight and on weekends!

A quick calculation of the number of school zone speed camera tickets issued in the three months since the cameras were finally turned on 24 hours a day, seven days a week reveals that from August through October of this year, roughly one million overnight and weekend tickets were issued; tickets that would never have been written had the Adams administration not successfully lobbied for the change in state law. See the chart:

Drivers are also getting the message about tickets—those issued between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.—just as the city Department of Transportation has long claimed. (the previous hours that cameras could operate) are starting to decline.

Speeding tickets in school zones were issued by cameras during those daytime hours 1,193,256 times in the same three-month period last year. During the same time period this year, that number decreased to 1,010,469 from 1,017,066. (The comparison is accurate because both periods had exactly the same number of weekdays—66.)

So even though overall tickets are up about 67 percent thanks to those overnight and weekend hours, they’re down about 15 percent in the 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours, evidence that drivers do indeed stop speeding after getting one or two of the automated tickets. (More than half of all drivers who receive a first violation never receive another, according to the Department of Transportation.)

The statistics support what Streetsblog discovered following the initial three weeks of all-night camera enforcement between August and September. 1 and Aug. 21. Additionally, the increase in total tickets since the cameras are now on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week also supports the city’s long-held suspicion that there was a lot of speeding and reckless driving when the cameras weren’t in operation.

“The data confirms what we already knew: drivers are excessively speeding at night and on weekends when cameras were turned off,” software engineer and data analyst , according to Jehiah Czebotar.

The Department of Transportation press office was closed on Friday in honor of Veterans Day, but spokesman Vin Barone referred us to the agency’s prior comment on the matter:

“These cameras save lives and, in previous expansion efforts, we’ve seen increases in violations followed by large declines,” Barone said.

The month-by-month declines are even more dramatic when you separate out the months themselves: Czebotar crunched those numbers for Streetsblog and discovered that daytime tickets dropped in each of the three months in question:

In August of this year, cameras produced 412,545 tickets. These tickets fell by 20% to 333,513 in September and by another 20% to 264,411 in October. (The graph to the right reflects these figures.)

But when it comes to enforcing laws against reckless drivers, safety is ultimately everything. So what do those numbers show?

A total of 80 people were killed in the 29,923 reported crashes that occurred in the five boroughs from August through October of last year, injuring 14,106 people, including 1,572 cyclists, 2,098 pedestrians, and 10,436 motorists.

This year, there were 26,325 reported crashes in the same three-month span that injured 13,033 people, including 1,562 cyclists, 2,261 pedestrians, and 9,210 motorists, and claimed 54 lives.

The math indicates that the addition of night and weekend cameras has made roads safer: crashes are down 11%, injuries are down 7.6%, and overall fatalities are down 32%.

Read More: What Makes Thermal Imaging Cameras Useful?

Source: Streetsblog

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