Lawmakers Consider Speed Cameras in NYC

On the streets of NYC, it’s pretty rare to see a cop pull someone over for speeding—and part of the reason is there is nowhere to do it. But a proposal expected to pass in coming weeks could make catching speeders far easier for the NYPD—by allowing cameras to do the work.

The proposal would place speed cameras at various points throughout the city. If you speed past it, you’ll be sent a ticket. Red light cameras and bus lane cameras in the city are largely considered a success—gaining revenue for the city and reportedly keeping the roads safer.

The speed cameras would only send tickets to those accused of traveling more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit. Such an offense would result in a $50 fine. If you drove more than 30 mph over, however, the fine would be doubled to $100.

The proposal calls for 40 cameras initially, though more could eventually be added.

Supporters of the cameras say they will make the city safer. According to the NY Times, there were 243 traffic fatalities in the city. Washington DC uses speed cameras and they experienced a 56% drop in traffic fatalities since the cameras were installed. It’s important to note, however, that this drop can’t necessarily be connected to the cameras. After all, last year’s traffic fatality count in NYC represented a 38% drop from 2001.

But drops in speeding could be related to the cameras. Before DC got them, one in three drivers were speeding. Today that number is one in 40.

Cabbies are worried the cameras could lead to disgruntled passengers. No one wants to hear about a possible ticket when they are in a hurry to get somewhere, particularly if they are not the one behind the wheel.

These cameras would solely be used for traffic violators, or so the plan goes. Other cameras throughout the city can be accessed in the event of a criminal investigation, though they don’t always prove useful.

We are entering a time when everywhere we look Big Brother is looking back. All done in the name of safety and lawfulness, the cameras are popping up at every street corner.

In a criminal case, camera footage like this can be a big piece of evidence. But the camera footage from most surveillance videos is usually of poor quality.

If you are charged with a crime and are curious how such evidence could affect your case, or if you merely want to know what options are available to you as a criminal defendant, contact our offices today.

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