February 22, 2022

Should New York City Speed Cameras Run 24/7?

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

Speed is a critical factor in the majority of severe car accidents. The slower the vehicle, the less severe the harm should be. But does the fear of speeding tickets and higher insurance premiums keep driving at reasonable speeds?

To help combat excessive speeding, New York City wants its speed cameras to be on the job 24/7/365. This is a considerable increase from currently operating on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Speed Does Kill

As a vehicle speeds up, the driver has a smaller margin for error. Their field of view narrows, they may not respond fast enough, and braking distances are longer. As the vehicle goes faster, more energy is released when a crash occurs, resulting in more severe injuries.

Hitting a fire hydrant at 25 miles per hour could severely damage the front end of your car, but if you use seat belts and airbags deployed, you shouldn’t be seriously injured.

According to Automotive Fleet, if you’re going 10 miles an hour faster, twice as much energy is released though you’re only going 40% faster, according to Automotive Fleet. At 50 miles per hour, the energy is four times higher, and at 75 miles per hour, it’s nine times stronger.

According to Consumer Reports, about 36,760 additional deaths resulted from increased speed limits on the nation’s highways from 1993 to 2017, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, according to Consumer Reports. Researchers estimate that for every extra five miles per hour in a highway’s speed limit, accident fatalities increased 8.5%.

According to the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2019, according to the National Safety Council, killing 9,478 (about 25 people each day) in 8,544 crashes. A crash is speed-related if the driver faces a speeding-related offense or if racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was listed as a contributing factor in the crash on accident reports.

Will 24/7 Cameras Reduce Traffic Deaths?

The city’s annual Automated Speed Enforcement Program estimates it’s curbed speeding by more than 70% in the 750 school speed zones where cameras are in use. But when this equipment by state law shut down (overnight and weekends), 30% of 2020 fatalities occurred.

In October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city’s support to amend state law so these cameras would be on all the time, creating evidence for speeding tickets whenever the infraction happens. A proposal to do that, plus allow for increased fines for repeat offenders, is pending in the state legislature.

The city’s Department of Transportation received State authorization to expand its speed camera program in 2019 and operates 1,647 cameras in 750 school speed zones and areas within a quarter-mile of a school building. Average daily violations dropped sharply in 2020 as fewer people drove due to COVID-19 restrictions.

But, many drivers do learn their lesson. Since the program’s start, slightly less than half of the drivers receiving a notice of liability received a second. As time went on, violations on newly installed cameras declined about 45% by the 18th week.

Contact a Lawyer for Help

If you were injured by a speeding car or truck in NYC, protect your legal rights by working with a personal injury attorney who knows accident law and how to deal with insurance companies.

Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. represent clients throughout New York City. We know what causes accidents and how to prove who is at fault. Call us Today at (212) 490-5700 to schedule your free consultation.