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Queens Drivers Slammed with Millions in Speed Camera Violations Since Program’s Expansion

NYC DOT Vision Zero

Oct. 8, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The city issued more than $10 million in speed camera violations in Queens alone in the first six weeks after the program’s expansion this summer. 

During the first six weeks following the program’s July 11 expansion, the city mailed out more than 200,000 tickets to Queens drivers caught speeding in school zones — and more than 500,000 tickets across all five boroughs, according to city data

At $50 a ticket, the city has made millions off the program’s massive expansion in less than two months. 

The cameras take photos of drivers going more than 10 miles per hour above the speed limit in a school zone and then the city mails $50 violations to the registered owner of the car.

In Queens, drivers received 205,373 violations from July 11 to Aug. 22, according to the latest City data — that’s equal to $10,268,650 in less than two months.

For the year ending June 2019, drivers in Queens received 371,546 speed camera violations and paid $18,577,300 in fines. In just 43 days since the expansion launched, drivers in Queens have already paid more than half that amount.

In total, the city collected more than $28 million in the 43-day period or $455 per minute as the Staten Island Advance reported

On July 11, the city began the program’s expansion to increase the number of school zones with cameras from 140 zones to 750 zones.

By the end of August, the number of school zones with cameras was at 360 and the Department of Transportation plans to install about 40 to 60 new speed cameras a month to increase the number of zones and reach its 750 goal by June 2020. There can be multiple cameras per zone.

In addition to the new cameras, the program expansion also mandated that speed cameras now operate year-round on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., including the summer and school breaks. That’s about double the program’s previous hours, in which cameras were only active during school hours. 

The city first introduced speed cameras in 2013 with just 20 school zones. The next year, the state authorized the program to expand to 140 school zones.

The DOT says that the program has saved lives. From 2013 through 2018, the DOT reported a 60 percent drop in speeding infractions in school zones where the cameras had been installed. The agency also said there was a 21 percent decline in the number of people killed or severely injured in crashes within the zones.

The total cost of the massive expansion is $62 million and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has previously said she expects the program will pay for itself through the fines. 

The original 140-zone speed camera program brought in $45 million in revenue in 2018. With more than $28 million already collected in less than two months since the expansion began, this year is likely to pass that number quickly. 

Drivers in Queens received the second-most violations, behind drivers in Brooklyn, according to NYC Open Data. Queens was followed by the Bronx, Manhattan and then Staten Island. Together, Brooklyn and Queens account for nearly 75 percent of all speed camera violations. 

While the DOT has not released where the speed cameras are installed, city data lists intersections where drivers have received speed camera violations. 

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39 Comments

Safe driver

don’t you hate it when speed limit is 25 and your going 35 then you got some dingleberries that are still tailgating you. I love this new policy, since it a helping to medicate those impatient drivers so they can get to cvs 1 min quicker

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Gerald

Notice that there are two types of people: Car drivers that blame the mayor and governor for this, and sensible people who realize there’s a serious problem with speeding cars and drivers not obeying common road signs. Every day it’s a struggle to cross Queens Blvd since cars just go thru the lights. At stop signs, you have to hold your arm out to make sure the cars stop to let you cross. I feel bad for the elderly, since they are slow but car drivers here are so impatient, they just don’t care.

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Linda

Cuomo is done along with any of the socialist Democrats who are supporting him.One party rule in Albany is bad for average NY’ers, the Democrats are bleeding the middle class dry.

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It's cute when you pretend to care about the middle class

Linda that’s why you voted for the billionaire giving massive tax break to the rich?

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Guest

You need to be traveling 35+ MPH to get a ticket. NYC streets are full of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers pulling out of curbside spaces and driveways.

The speed camera program has proven successful and the expansion is welcome. Speed cameras have led to a decline in speeding where placed. But we need blanket enforcement, 24/7, year round. Kids aren’t the only ones being killed by reckless and distracted drivers. People are being killed at all times of day, all days of the week, all times of the year.

Slow down.

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Linet McKenzie

My problem is young guys speeding on the belt parkway. and no cops is on the look out this starts from queens to the verrazano bridge a lot of accidents happen on that parkway so put speed limits and signs no racing.

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Objective Perspective

I just question the legality of speed cameras in general. Now before you criticize or dislike this comment, read the whole thing. With these speed cameras, there is no one to attest to an isolated violation, that allegedly occurs, to provide enough clear and convincing evidence that the violation did indeed occur as accused. For example: A police officer gives you a speeding ticket. You have the ability to plea guilty or not guilty. If you please not guilty, you can go to court and give your testimony against the officers testimony. Part of the officers testimony will be to the testing, accuracy and functionality of the radar he/she used, specific to the incident in question and a judge will issue a verdict. A speed camera does not provide such fairness. No person can testify to anyone incident. All the city can say is “Its a good piece of equipment”. No technology is infallible. And if there is picture/video of the incident, all you would see is the vehicle moving at unknown speed, other than what the camera is generating. How do you know if the camera wasn’t functioning properly? What if the motorist was obeying the speed limit?
Now redlight cameras, I think are good and completely legal. On camera, it shows the identified vehicle, prior to the stopline/crosswalk and going through the intersection while the light is red; there is guaranteed accuracy and an officer is not necessary.
I just feel with the amount of money this is generating, it should be heavily scrutinized to ensure the city doesnt unjustly make money off of hardworking people, especially those that cant afford it.

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Queens 718

Let’s face it, the real problem is reckless pedestrians crossing streets on red lights, in the middle of blocks, with heads down staring at their device or just oblivious and walking with a sense of entitlement.

You want to solve the problem?
Ticket jaywalkers.

But Blasio won’t do that because enforcing laws is offensive to him and ever law breaker is considered a victim of society. So they go after the easy tarket: registered vehicles.

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Robert J Evangelista

I am all for the cameras in school zones.but why are they in affect on sat.orsun. until 10pm.they should be home with their parents.

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D.A

LOL a bike’s top speed rarely exceeds 30mph and the impact from that if there was to be a crash is nowhere near what the impact is with a two ton vehicle. Furthermore, 23 cyclists have been killed by motorists. 65 total, including pedestrians have been killed. ZERO by bicycle. Two children were killed by reckless drivers in cars. One was waiting at a bus stop when the car crashed into him on the sidewalk. The other, was walking in a cross street. Stop being ignorant.

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John

I’d rather have reckless drivers slammed with fines than children slammed by the vehicles driven by reckless drivers. Your headline is ignorant.

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Harold

If we had realistic speed limits in place, there wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem. The fact that we have such Micky Mouse speed limits in place that are set artificially low is the real problem. Slower is not always safer as is the claim. All these cameras serve is to raise revenue. They have little or nothing to do with safety. Many other states have much higher limits set and fatalities have dropped. And finally, if the DOT wasn’t so sneaky and clearly revealed every camera location, people would slow down as needed. The problem is that they wouldn’t make any money. That is the proof the revenue is more important than any safety aspect as is claimed.

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Darren

Love all these comments from drivers who receive tickets for illegal and unsafe driving suggesting that this unfairly taking their money.

Here’s an idea: stop speeding and running red lights. The seconds you “save” aren’t worth endangering yourself and others. The behavior is illegal for a reason. People are much more likely to survive a crash under the speed limit.

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Annette

I live across the street from a elementary school and these idiot’s are always speeding during school hours. Hopefully they will put a speed camera soon. I for one would love one here.

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Ray

a big LOL to the complaints of “corruption” or the city “profiting on the middle class.” How about you just slow the f– down, especially around kids. Or move. Either decision would improve this city. Just please – drive at the speed limit on your way out the door.

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j.b. diGriz

Good! Looking forward to more people surviving car drivers’ self-absorbed narcissism.

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D. August

This initiative is ridiculous. Every week I receive a ticket in the mail because of this crap. Now the city wants to expand this during the summer when school isn’t even in session? And then run the cameras from 6am to 10pm?! Why are there initiatives in place to send tickets to the wannabe NASCAR drivers who speed on the Belt Parkway every damn day?! It’s time to get the f*** out of NYC!

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J. Herrera

Another racket among the City’s arsenal of means to extort money out of the citizenry. Disgusting! Where does all that money go?

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Billy Flynn

This is great!! Keep fining these fast driving idiots. And please take away their drivers license.

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Peter

Sounds like a whole bunch of drivers aren’t capable of driving remotely close to the speed limit.

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will hunter

Epidemic of speeding in school zones revealed! Dangerous drivers will finally get tickets for endagering children.

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Colin Rafferty

I am so glad that we have these cameras catching the speeders. 10+ MPH in a school zone. We need more cameras.

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Jake

Kinda makes you wonder why so many drivers are speeding through school zones. I guess I’m not surprised considering how reckless drivers are in this city.

I love that the city is working to keep our kids safe but school zones don’t cover nearly enough of our neighborhoods. What about the cars whizzing past the playground my daughter visits daily?

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Rambo

Another way of New York to make money. It’s still not going to do much of a difference cause New York drivers don’t care and they will always drive like maniacs.

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Kim

If the purpose of the speed camera is to slow down traffic, then the cameras should be clearly visible to act as a reminder to drivers to check their speed. When the cameras are hidden, people may speed past it for WEEKS before getting a ticket in the mail. This is more of an unfair tax than good safety protocol. I think the legality of some of these cameras should be checked.

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ralph

“Queens Drivers Slammed…?”

Let me guess? You’re against the speed cameras. IMHO, the headline should be, “Deadly Drivers Caught in Queens by Safety Cameras” instead. The fact is, the speed limit is a hard and fast limit for a reason; it saves kid’s lives. If getting away with speeding is a plus in your view, then I think your editorial direction needs some serious soul searching.

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Nyccorrut

Corruption at it’s best!!!

The politicians only care about money and could care less if your child is run over by a truck turning a corner.

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Tax paying citizen

The fact of the matter as I see it is that we have way too many drivers that have absolutely no regard for stop signs red lights speed limits etc the are mostly comprised but limited too the taxi and ride share vehicles like uber and Lyft and young drivers with what they perceive to be race cars because they illegally altered the muffler to sound loud and crude .also there are a lot of people driving from foreign countries with NO LICENSE and show a passport when they get stopped.

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Jeanne Croce

The Mayor of our city is money hungry and he sucks. He rips people off in this city every way he can. What about the money unaccounted for by his own wife. Leave us citizens alone. Stop ripping us off for every dime we have.

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Steven Lennon

just like the tolls Cuomo is placing in midtown Manhattan for congestion driving,the impending charge for shopping bags that`s coming, these 26 or 29 mph speeding tickets are just another middle class tax hike. I hope the non Americans start complaining so something will perhaps be done about it.

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Danny

This is a disgusting money grab and it has nothing to do with safety. It will always affect the middle class more. The poor don’t drive and the wealthy are not affected by a $50 fine. If it is about safety they could just close off the entire street during school hours or put in speed bumps.

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frank stocks

When are they going to monitor speeding bikes and bikes going through red lights and running into pedestrians. That’s the 64,000 dollar question. Fair play for all.

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