A deal was brokered between state and city officials to reactivate speed cameras around New York City schools before students returned in September. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in last August signed an executive order declaring that the lapsing of the speed cameras and the imminent start of school constituted an emergency that endangered the lives of children.

Most of the summons-issuing cameras went dark at the end of July, when a section of state law authorizing 120 of the cameras expired. Another section of the law that has kept an additional 20 cameras operating was set to expire at the end of August. The Assembly tried to increase the number of cameras this year but the measure got bogged down in the State Senate.

The executive order directs the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to share information with the city so it can match the license plates of speeding vehicles to their owners and assess fines – all without the need for a new state law. City Council also passed a local law that mirrors the speed camera provisions of state law. Officials previously said only the state could authorize the city to collect fines with evidence from the cameras, but city officials are saying they can pass their own law and make it work, as long as they have access to DMV license plate data.

The cameras are credited with saving lives by calming traffic around schools where they are used. Mr. Cuomo said that 18 children a year were killed in vehicle accidents before the speed cameras were put in place, and the number has since decreased to eight per year.

Source: New York Times

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