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Buffalo councilman expresses regrets over approval of School Zone Safety Program

school zone camera
Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 29, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A fired-up Rasheed Wyatt, the University District councilman, posted an 11-minute live video to Facebook Monday night blasting the City of Buffalo School Zone Safety Program.

He was angered after going to the camera location on Bailey Avenue outside of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Academy and seeing beacons flashing — indicating a school zone was “live”.

He said the lights promote the ongoing accusation by angered city residents that the program is a money-grab since no school was in session that day.

“You can’t help but to think it is,” he said. “Because on a day where school is not in session, the beacons are going and people have been taught that when beacons are going, you can get a ticket.”

Parking commissioner Kevin Helfer saw the video and tells 7 Eyewitness News that while the beacons were on, no photos were being taken of cars for citations.
The beacons have since been turned off.

In fact, no tickets have been issued there since December 18th, according to Helfer. He said the lights were on to indicate a “15mph” speed limit.

Wyatt also expressed frustration over the signage which he felt did not reflect the updated hours that were voted on by the common council, but the actual signed legislation is a bit different from his proposed resolution.

The law that was signed as a compromise by Mayor Brown says that school cameras will be active up to one hour before arrival and one hour after dismissal from schools.

Last week, the common council asked Mayor Byron Brown to “pause” the program in order to fix the issues with the notification and signage and the numerous problems the city has experienced with its camera vendor Sensys Gatso, but he said no.

Only 6 of the 20 school zones have been active at one point since the program launched in mid-October.

All zones are scheduled to go live, without any apparent solutions from the camera vendor, February 1.