With 24/7 Operation, Lawmakers Finally Admit Lie Behind NYC Speed Camera Program (Opinion)
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Lawmakers in Albany have approved a plan to keep speed cameras in New York running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
So much for the radars that aim to protect schoolchildren.
It’s been a lie from the start. The cameras are less about protecting children and more about generating revenue for the city by making every motorist a potential criminal.
Unless the city makes sure kids go to school 24/7. Which would be a great tip considering how many families have fled the public school system in recent years. years and the fact that even the remaining students barely show up for class.
But the lie was necessary to launch the program. Because who could object to protecting children as they walk the streets to school?
And we all know there are crazy drivers. We know there are people who drive too fast and too recklessly.
The problem with the speed camera program is that it deals everything of us as if we were murderous maniacs behind the wheel. He blames only motorists for road accidents.
After installing and operating the cameras and watching millions of dollars pour into the city’s coffers, the program’s settings were changed so that the cameras could be placed within a quarter-mile radius of a school.
Which meant the cameras could be placed just about anywhere and often have been, including in areas where there is no school to be seen. It’s not about protecting children.
Camera hours have also been extended well before school hours and well after. The cameras were on during school holidays and on days when school was not in session.
And now they will be available 24/7.
Here’s something that’s not a lie: speeding is far from the leading cause of accidents in New York City. Distracted driving is followed by following too closely and not giving in. And camera enthusiasts know it.
Radars do nothing to address these root causes of collisions.
It’s also worth repeating that the city set a record for road deaths in 2021, eight years after the advent of Vision Zero. Road deaths also increased in the first quarter of this year. Road deaths are on track to rise for four consecutive years for the first time since 1990.
Defenders have no answer to that except to point the finger at motorists more vehemently.
All of this has inevitably led to calls for a complete ban on cars, with advocates lamenting that all road space is being used for “free car storage” for motorists. Imagine if we gave all this space to cyclists and pedestrians!
But getting rid of all the vehicles will prove impossible. Your Amazon packages will not be delivered by people on bicycles. Neither your groceries nor your new household appliances.
And are we suddenly going to get rid of all taxis and Lyft and Uber cars? Are you going by bike or on foot to Newark airport with your luggage strapped to your back to go on vacation? With your children? Please.
Transit is under pressure under the number of passengers as it is, no matter if you take people’s cars away and add those commuters to the transit hordes. Your roads will always be congested, not with private cars, but with buses and rental vehicles. Your subway cars will be even tighter.
And don’t tell me I’ll get more public transportation in exchange for losing my car. The Staten Islanders are still waiting for their promised subway line. Another lie.
Never mind the exclusions we will see for politicians, some workers and other connected people. They will be allowed to keep their cars.
The rest of us will be unlucky.