Long Island’s school zone camera program has had its fair share of controversy but now, as CBS News New York reports, Nassau County residents are taking to the streets in protest.
While government officials argue that these speed cameras are all about child and pedestrian safety, the citizen-organized group “Residents Opposing School Zone Speed Cameras” contends that the $80 tickets are nothing more than a revenue-generating scheme for the cash-strapped County.
Recently, New York City drivers may have noticed a flurry of “20 is Plenty” signs springing up in many of their neighborhoods. These signs, designed to mimic standard speed limit signs, were the results of a campaign staged by Right of Way, a group whose self-stated mission is to, “assert the public right of way and turn the streets into vibrant public space for all.”
The group placed these signs in 11 New York City neighborhoods in sections of Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Each of these 11 neighborhoods had applied through the city’s Slow Zones Program to have their speed limits lowered from the city’s standard 30 miles per hour down to 20 mph but had not gotten any response.
According to Right of Way, “These communities knew their streets were dangerous and asked the city to fix them, but were told no or not yet by the previous administration.”
Under Vision Zero, Mayor DeBlasio hopes to completely eliminate traffic fatalities within the 5 boroughs. So far, the plan has meant stricter enforcement of traffic violations like speeding while also causing the NYPD to issue more jaywalking tickets. The addition of speed cameras to several New York City streets and the NYPD’s recent investment into more radar guns shows how dedicated DeBlasio and his administration are to Vision Zero and continuing to improving road safety.
Part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” traffic initiative to eradicate pedestrian fatalities in New York City, six speed cameras have been placed in intersections across the city. In the only two weeks since their installation, the cameras have caught nearly 1,000 motorists exceeding the speed limit. The success of the speed camera program thus far has caused Albany to approve the installation of 20 more speed cameras. However, Mayor de Blasio has urged that even more cameras be installed at intersections throughout the city in the future, in an effort to more strictly enforce posted speed limits in New York City.
Though the speed cameras are certainly effective at clocking speeding drivers and provide an additional source of revenue for the city, the new traffic camera program has nevertheless faced criticism by law enforcement. Police unions contend that cameras will never be able to replace the professional training and judgment of police officers who can recognize other, and often more serious, offenses being committed by drivers caught speeding, such as driving under the influence, driving without a license or insurance, or even carrying an illegal weapon. To police, the cameras actually prevent opportunities to make the roads safer by charging especially dangerous drivers and criminals with lesser speeding offenses. However, in light of lax past ticketing practices by police in the city, the cameras are, for now, being viewed as a much-needed deterrent to fatality-causing speeding on New York City streets.
In a press release put out this week by the New York Governor’s Office, Governor Cuomo announced that New York’s seat belt usage rate has reached an all-time high of 91.09%.
The announcement comes on the heels of a new survey, the New York State Seat Belt Observation Survey, conducted by the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR). Funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), the survey monitored drivers and front-seat passengers for seat belt usage at 120 locations in 12 New York counties.
The survey concluded that this year’s seat belt compliance rate was up to 91.09%, up from 90.43% in 2012 and 90.54% in 2011.
Governor Cuomo was pleased at the progress, noting New York’s position at the forefront of driver safety efforts:
Nearly 30 years ago, New York led the nation by passing the first seat belt law, and today the vast majority of New York’s drivers and passengers are now taking this simple step of buckling up to protect themselves on the road. It is clear that efforts by the State to promote driver safety can instill good driving habits and ultimately save lives. Just like the seat belt law, our unprecedented crackdown on distracted driving and tough new penalties for drivers who text behind the wheel can change a dangerous driving habit, so that we continue to make New York’s roads the safest in the country. Our record-high seat belt usage rate is a testimony to this fact, and we will further this progress through every means available.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms the importance of wearing a seatbelt. According to their statistics, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide in 2011 (the last year for which nationwide statistics are available). Also in 2011, the national seatbelt usage rate was 84%–with New York being only one of seventeen states to achieve a usage rate over 90 percent.
August has officially come to an end, but not without some extra traffic enforcement by the New York State Police. This year, the NYSP held two traffic ticket blitzes—“Speed Week” which ran from August 11 to August 17 and “Operation Summer Brake” which ran from August 26 through Labor Day, September 2.
Speed week has become an annual tradition set to coincide with the Nationwide Series at the Glen and focusing on speeding and other traffic citations. During Speed Week 2012, the New York State Police issued over 1,200 speeding tickets and over 1,300 other citations including DWI, cell phone use, driving without a seatbelt, and more.
As Governor Cuomo notes, “Speeding is the number one cause of deaths on our roads each year and it is a dangerous activity that puts everyone at risk.”
Operation Summer Brake had similar objectives. New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison stated, “As part of ‘Operation Summer Brake,’ the Thruway Authority encourages motorists to be alert on the road, drive responsibly, obey posted speed limits, and avoid all distractions to ensure a safe trip to their destination. We are committed to working with New Yorkers and the State Police to maintain the Thruway’s outstanding safety record.”
The number of speeding and other citations issued during this year’s ticket blitzes are not yet available, but we encourage everyone to drive safely all year long to avoid traffic tickets or worse. “It is clear that the New York State Police are stepping up their game,” says noted traffic ticket attorney Adam H. Rosenblum, “each summer the number of ticket blitzes and the number of traffic tickets issued increases significantly.”
In addition, August 2013 saw the introduction of speed cameras (in select school zones). While other states such as Maryland have had speed cameras for years, this was a first for New York State and the move was applauded by government officials statewide.
However, the addition of speed cameras is not without controversy. In fact, a report by The Baltimore Sun cast serious doubt on whether their speed camera program led to greater public safety or just a lucrative new revenue stream for the cash-strapped city. Thousands of tickets have been thrown due to faulty cameras and Baltimore City judges often dismiss tickets for deficiencies. These findings ultimately led to a suspension of the speed camera program.
Notably, one of the report’s findings was that the City of Baltimore stretched the definition of a “school zone” far beyond the definition in state guidelines which might spell trouble if New York State follows suit.
Whether the goal is public safety, to raise much-needed revenue, or both, increased traffic violations enforcement is a reality all drivers are going to have to learn to live with.
If you received a ticket, contact the Rosenblum Law Firm at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation. We will help explain your ticket, its penalties, and your legal options.
If you have received a speeding ticket or another traffic infraction in Harrison, New York you are not alone. With so many major roadways passing through Harrison like Interstates 95, 287, 684 and the Hutchinson Parkway, police are on the lookout to ticket drivers breaking the law. In Harrison, police are notorious for setting up speed traps in strategic locations to ticket drivers.
Each year the Harrison Town Court disposes of thousands of traffic tickets with the vast majority of traffic infractions listed as speeding tickets.
Harrison is a sixteen square mile suburb located in Westchester County, New York. When an officer hands you a traffic ticket, not only does the ticket indicate what you are being charged with (speeding, improper turn, failure to yield, etc.) but it also is a summons requiring you or your attorney to appear in court. The Harrison Town Court handles all traffic matters including moving violations, parking tickets, DWI’s and speeding tickets.
A traffic ticket is usually the only experience a driver has with the legal system. Often times drivers are not aware of the full repercussions of a traffic violation and don’t realize that there are very good options in fighting the ticket. The process of handling a simple traffic matter however can often be confusing if you do not have professional assistance in fighting the ticket. The law requires that even for traffic violation matters you are innocent of the charge until the prosecutor and police officer prove that you are guilty. If you are ready to fight the charges, this article has some great information to help you fight your ticket.
Why Should I Plead Not Guilty For My Speeding Ticket In Harrison?
If you wish to plead guilty (never recommended) and pay the fine, the instructions are listed on the back or right side of the traffic ticket. Remember, a traffic ticket is simply a charge or accusation that a driver may have committed the alleged offense. Once you plead guilty, your case is over and you are accepting full responsibility of the charges and penalties even if you were improperly accused. Putting your traffic ticket in perspective, pleading not guilty means that the worst result is that you pay the fines and penalties as charged, therefore fighting the ticket means that your situation can only improve.
Your first step in fighting a speeding ticket is pleading not guilty to the charge. By answering the ticket with a not guilty plea you are letting the court know that you wish to reserve your right to take your case to trial or possibly negotiate a reduction on the charges. Pleading not guilty is always the best option because it allows you to fight your ticket as opposed to pleading guilty and paying the fine. If you hire an attorney, the lawyer can take care of all the required legal steps, including entering a not guilty plea on your behalf.
Should I Hire An Attorney To Fight My Ticket?
It’s important to remember that having a driver’s license is a privilege and one that you should protect at all costs. A traffic violation can have serious consequences both financially and on your ability to legally drive. It’s very important that you always maintain a clean record and stay away from points that can accumulate on to your license.
A licensed traffic defense attorney can help you fight your ticket without you ever having to come to court. The best part is that the attorney will be able to negotiate a reduction of the charges that you are facing, which can save you hundreds in fines and increases in your insurance rates. Contact The Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation on how we can help you beat your Harrison Traffic Ticket. Call us at 888-883-5529 .