NEW YORK –New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced that today is a Citywide multi-agency “Day of Awareness” to promote the expansion of the City’s speed camera program to 24/7/365. As a month-long multi-media public-awareness campaign comes to a close, the cameras will go 24/7 next Monday, August 1st. The City’s speed camera program is highly effective when allowed to operate, but 31 percent of on-street traffic fatalities occur in camera zones at times when cameras were previously not permitted to operate.
“New York City and a coalition of advocates worked hard and traveled often to Albany to get this full-time speed camera authorization passed,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. “We have hard data that show speed cameras save lives. Drivers should continue to drive carefully, observe speed limits and be aware that our speed cameras, starting August 1, will be operational day and night. Thanks to the all the agency staff who volunteered to get the word out today about this critical new law.”
“The New York City Police Department is committed to driving down traffic fatalities,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster. “Extending the hours of speed cameras in our communities is another layer of enforcement that will hold reckless drivers accountable and protect our most vulnerable road users. Everyone should drive safely, because traffic safety is public safety.”
Multi-agency street teams, including hundreds of NYC DOT and NYPD staff, hit the five boroughs today during morning and evening rush-hour periods, distributing palm cards to motorists informing them of the changes coming August 1st. DOT is also broadcasting the upcoming expansion of hours across its social media platforms and through notification to elected officials, community boards and other stakeholders.
Soon after Governor Hochul signed the speed camera law last month, DOT began robust outreach by deploying a message and outreach strategy, raising awareness of the expansion of camera protection to overnights and weekends. The outreach material includes digital and print-ready flyers in eleven languages as well as notices included in mailed violation notices.
DOT committed $500,000 on paid media efforts to highlight the expansion, with a particular focus on community and ethnic media. DOT’s 30-Day social media plan is also in its final week leading up to the expansion; in the campaign, DOT has offered details of the program, explained the benefits of speed management, and featured real New Yorkers who need the protection offered by speed cameras during overnight and weekend hours.
New York City operates just over 2,000 speed cameras in 750 zones Citywide. Violations are issued when vehicles exceed posted speed limits by more than 10 MPH, and come with a $50 fine mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Overall, since the start of the speed camera automated enforcement program in 2014, speeding violations are down 72 percent on average at camera locations. However, during the pandemic, the nation has seen an increase in traffic fatalities, as overnight and weekend speeding and fatalities have increased. In New York City, motor-vehicle occupant fatalities have far outpaced all other travel modes, with speed cited as a major contributing factor in most crashes.
“New York City has waited a long time for 24/7 speed cameras, that is proven to save lives and keep our streets safe from car crashes. I’m excited that day is finally upon us,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you to our NYC DOT for championing these cameras and ensuring they’re ready to roll, as well as NYPD for helping with the education efforts before our August 1 activation date.”
“Traffic injuries are up across the city, and activating speed cameras to operate 24/7/365 is a common sense way to prevent speeding and save lives,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “There is a 14% reduction in traffic crash injuries on streets with cameras, but turning them off overnight and on weekends meant that those streets were less safe. Having cameras operate full time will be an important strategy to help reduce speeding and cut down on preventable injuries and deaths.”
“This critical program to spread the word about the critical changes to New York City’s speed camera program – now that they will operate every day beginning in August – will surely help us save lives, particularly in school zones, while encouraging drivers to be more mindful of their speed,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “By prioritizing safety and cutting down on speeding, the streets of Queens and our city will be safer for all who use them.”
“In a city that doesn’t sleep, authorizing speed cameras to operate 24/7 is the right move and will save lives, period,” said State Senator Robert Jackson. “Speeding occurs at all hours of the day and night; as a city, we must 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 help pass my colleague Senator Gourades’ bill in the Senate, and with today’s announcement, I look forward to our streets being safer for all New Yorkers.
“For years, our city has faced a significant issue within speeding and reckless driving behavior that’s hurting too many New Yorkers,” said City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I’m glad that the Department of Transportation is confronting this crisis by expanding the city’s speed camera program to 24/7, 365 days a year. We have an urgent need to invest in and implement safe streets that protect pedestrians and keep New Yorkers safe.”
“Expanding speed cameras to 24/7 will save lives. This past February was the deadliest February in NYC since 2008, with 23 traffic fatalities,” said City Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez.
“The continuously increasing traffic deaths across the city indicate the need to respond comprehensively, especially because 40% of non-highway traffic fatalities happened in speed safety camera zones during the hours when they were non-operational. There is no room in a city like ours for this kind of loss, and I am thankful that the City is implementing our 24/7 Speed Cameras.”
“Speed cameras operating 24/7 is a vital tool we have in addressing the growing crisis of traffic fatalities and car crashes,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “We must do all we can to make New York City streets safer for everyone – pedestrians, bikers, drivers, and everyone who uses our roads. I am proud to join the Department of Transportation and my colleagues in raising awareness that as of August 1, speed cameras will be operating 24/7.”
“In the past year, seven people lost their lives and over 1100 more were injured in my district alone,” said City Council Member Julie Won. “No mother should lose their child or grieve a parent that was lost too soon in traffic violence. Street safety cameras are a proven way to reduce deaths and injuries in school zones. Turning them on 24/7 will ensure the safety of children and other vulnerable New Yorkers.”
“Expanding New York City’s speed camera program to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year is crucial to ensuring our streets are safe and accessible for all New Yorkers,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “We applaud Commissioner Rodriguez and the Department of Transportation for their leadership in raising awareness of this change; it’s exciting to see City leaders acting so quickly to implement the initiatives in the bill authored by Assembly Member Glick and State Senator Gounardes. We look forward to continuing to work with the City to reduce traffic violence in our community.”
“We hope that today’s speed-camera ‘Day of Awareness’ will translate into a lifetime of drivers slowing down come Monday, when the city’s speed cameras begin operating around the clock,” said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure. “Speed cameras have been proven to reduce dangerous speeding wherever they operate, and the vast majority of drivers quickly alter their behavior after receiving just one or two automated speeding violations. We’re grateful to Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez for their advocacy for 24/7 operation of speed cameras, and to the Governor and State Legislature – especially State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick – for enacting the law enabling round-the-clock enforcement. All New Yorkers will be safer as a result.”
“Speed safety cameras save lives. Next week, New York City will finally be able to use this essential tool to protect New Yorkers 24/7/365,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “We look forward to working with the City to expand life saving programs like automated enforcement and street redesign to ensure no one needs to fear death or injury when crossing the street in New York City.”
“The heart-breaking toll of traffic violence is something I know all too well,” said Families for Safe Streets steering committee member Rita Barravecchio, whose niece was killed at age 17 by a reckless driver in Queens. “Together with Families for Safe Streets members across the city, we’ve fought to make sure no other family has to experience traffic violence. Because of this activism, New York City’s speed safety cameras will operate 24/7 starting next week, giving our city another tool to prevent crashes and save lives. By combining 24/7 speed safety cameras with new investments in street design that slows drivers down, New York City can protect New Yorkers and achieve Vision Zero.”
Below are the areas of focus today for multi-agency street teams as part of the Day of Awareness.
- Manhattan: Manhattan Bridge – Canal Street and Bowery, 5th Precinct
- Bronx: The Hub – 149th Street and Third Avenue, 40th Precinct
- Brooklyn: Borough Hall – Joralemon and Court, 84th Precinct
- Queens: Main Street, Flushing – Main Street and Roosevelt, 109th Precinct
- Staten Island: St George Terminal (Outside the Terminal) 120th Precinct
- Manhattan: East Houston Street at East First Street, 7th and 9th Precincts **Includes the press conference
- Manhattan: Penn Station – At the new Moynihan Station 8th Ave and 32nd Street, 14th Precinct
- Queens: Queens Plaza Mall – Queens Blvd and 57th Street
Evening Shift from 4:00/4:30 to 7:30pm
- Manhattan: Grand Central Terminal (Vanderbilt and 42nd Street) 14th, 17th and 18th Precincts
- Manhattan: Dyckman St & Broadway, 34th Precinct
- Bronx: Fordham Road & Grand Concourse, 46th, 52nd Precincts
- Brooklyn: Atlantic Terminal: Barclay Center Plaza, 78th, 84th and 88th Precincts
- Queens: Sutphin Boulevard & Archer Avenue (Jamaica LIRR), 103rd Precinct
- Staten Island: Whitehall Ferry Terminal, 1st Precinct (Manhattan)