NYC: AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM REPORT (2014-2017)

In 2013 the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo enacted Sec. 1180-b of New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic
Law (VTL), which granted New York City the authority to pilot an automated speed enforcement program to deter
speeding in 20 school speed zones. The first speed camera violation was issued in January 2014. In June 2014,
the pilot was expanded to a total of 140 school speed zones, in order to support the pursuit of the City’s Vision
Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. This report covers data from the program from its
inception through December 2017.

Deterrence of speeding is the program’s sole goal. The faster a vehicle is moving the harder it is for the driver
of that vehicle to avoid a crash. In fact, a driver at 40 MPH needs 300 feet to perceive, react and brake to
an unexpected event – twice as far as a driver at 25 MPH, who only needs 150 feet. Speed is also a critical
determinant of injury severity. A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be
killed as a pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling at 25 MPH.

The City’s speed camera program proves highly effective at deterring speeding. Speeding during school hours
at typical fixed camera locations drops 63 percent. Despite the fact that the City is prohibited from using speed
cameras during the majority of the year, injuries at these locations have dropped 17 percent.

However, 5 out of every 6 New Yorkers who are killed or severely injured are struck at times or places where the
law prohibits the use of speed cameras to deter speeding. The camera program will protect more New Yorkers
from serious crashes if the State Legislature allows the City to run the program according to nationally
recognized best practices. Accordingly, the City supports legislation which would authorize the City to place
speed cameras on high-crash streets near schools, increase the number of school speed zones at which the
City can use a speed camera to deter speeding, and expand the number of hours at which the City can operate
speed cameras.

Full report