Red light and speed cameras save lives

You only need to  stand at the corner of 42nd Street and 9th Avenue  to see drivers flooring the accelerator as they come from New Jersey, try to make the light, fail and go through the red light anyway ! Indeed it does not help that traffic controllers posted at the intersection often wave cars through the red light as if Lincoln tunnel drivers had a god given right to speed at the expense of pedestrians.

A study released last Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that traffic fatalities at intersections {equipped with a camera}dropped by 26 percent over a five-year period. “Our traffic fatalities have been cut in half in four years,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “We see less high-speed crashes, we see less crashes at what used to be the worst intersections. Because of speed enforcement, when people do crash, it’s at a slower speed, so there are less likely to be fatalities.”

Lanier also said the cameras conserve police resources. “Those automated enforcement programs can take the place of 100 officers. In order to have the same effect with police officers, I’d have to divert them from crime-fighting.”

While Albany lawmakers retrograde attitude toward cameras has allowed only 50 red light cameras for all of New York City,  mercifully OUR elected in Albany get it ! Senator Tom Duane has introduced a bill in the Senate to install speed cameras in New York city.

Speed is the major cause of deadly crashes in New York City, claiming four times more lives than drunken driving and two times more lives than distracted driving. In 2009, 63 people were killed and 2,150 people were injured as the result of speed-related crashes in New York City. Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death due to injury among children. ( NY Health Department 2010 Report from the Child Fatality Review, June 2010)

Pedestrians are at a heightened risk of injury in speed-related crashes: if a pedestrian is hit by a car at 30 mph there is an 20 percent chance the pedestrian will be killed, but if the driver strikes a pedestrian at 40 mph – only 10 mph above the speed limit-, the chances the pedestrian will be killed increase to 70 percent!

Community Board 4 added its voice to support enactment of this legislation and increase the number of red light cameras.

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