Speed cameras may be coming to New York City. An enabling bill has been sponsored in the New York State Senate by a Republican lawmaker, a hurdle which the idea had yet to surmount in past years.
On the positive side the cameras could cut down on court and police costs, raise revenues by prosecuting a vice, and reduce speeding and thus traffic accidents. Critics note, however, the cameras will increase the foreboding presence of “Big Brother,” not a funny topic these days, as Mayor Bloomberg has passed many measures that have been deemed “nanny state.”
Another problem is that arguably the speed limit has been thought of by most as more of a suggestion than an actual limit, so to strictly enforce the law may cause societal headaches.
The fines for speeding proposed in the city are not draconian; $50 for 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit and $100 for 30 m.p.h. over the speed limit. Drivers receive a ticket in the mail and will not receive points on their license. Compared to the rigamarole that suburban drivers must go through when they are ticketed, it doesn’t sound so bad, although the frequency of tickets could potentially be much higher if drivers tend to speed in the wrong neighborhood.
In most suburban areas where speed cameras have been installed, they are specifically put in place around school zones.
So if speed cameras enjoy success and public support in New York City, will they be coming to the suburbs next?