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Erie County Clerk issues statement in opposition of Buffalo's School Zone Safety Program

Posted at 10:13 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 10:14:01-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns has issued a statement in opposition of Buffalo's School Zone Safety Program.

Kearns says data demonstrates the program is a "Scam Cam Program" that unjustly targets low-income and minority neighborhoods.

"For the City of Buffalo to install cameras in school zones which disproportionately target high-poverty and minority neighborhoods and then threaten a collection tactic which has been expressly disavowed by the New York State legislature because it unjustly targets those demographics is nothing short of unconscionable," said Kearns.

The Erie County Clerk says he has sent a letter to NYS DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder asking him to refuse to suspend driver's registrations for violations issued under the program.

The City of Buffalo announced the School Zone Safety Program would be reactivated on February 1 in conjunction with the reopening of schools across the city. Officials also said speed zone camera citations would not be issued through February, to give drivers time to adjust to the speed limits.

Calls have continued to grow for the program to be dismantled before the cameras officially go live again.

Peter Rizzo, a certified urban planner, fraud examiner and government auditor, said the City of Buffalo needs to drop the school zone safety program in an interview with 7 Eyewitness News.

Rizzo released a report Tuesday after spending months independently reviewing 911 call data from Buffalo police as well as information provided by the Parking Violations Bureau. You can find more information on that report here.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has insisted he will not end the program, saying it is in place for the safety of children.