Based on data presented by state officials, if a vehicle traveling 40 mph hits a child there is a 70 percent chance that a fatality will occur, but should a vehicle strike a child at 30 mph there is an 80 percent chance of survival.
Those figures prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation into law at Bethpage High School on June 25 that allows Nassau and Suffolk counties to establish a pilot program to install cameras in school speed zones.
One camera per district — 69 in Suffolk, 56 in Nassau — can be installed in
an effort to curb speeding in school zones. The law also includes a provision for New York City to expand use by 120 school zones, for a total of 140. The law takes effect in 30 days.
“A school safety report indicates 200 motorists per hour exceeded the posted speed limit by 25 mph,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, said at the press conference last Wednesday. “I thank Gov. Cuomo for approving this pilot program as it protects our children and serves as an important message to motorists to exercise care in our school zones.”
Officials said that using speed cameras in school zones is a supplement to the overall police presence on the streets to catch violators and prevent accidents that could happen due to speeding.
“New York State will not tolerate drivers who exercise reckless behavior and put other people at risk — especially around our schools,” Cuomo said. “This should send
a message to all drivers — slow down and obey the speed limit, especially when passing a school.”
The new law was needed to amend current state vehicle and traffic law to create a provision for speed cameras, state officials said. Nassau and Suffolk counties are responsible for purchase and installation of the cameras.