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Lawsuit filed regarding school speed zone camera on Bailey Ave.

Posted at 12:14 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 00:16:59-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's a class action lawsuit against the City of Buffalo regarding one of its school speed zone cameras. The city's Westminister School camera is located on Bailey Avenue, something attorneys and University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt said should not be the case.

“Why do we have a camera on Bailey Avenue, when the actual school is on Westminister,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt explains the school is not on Bailey Avenue. The city says the camera also serves Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Children's Academy.

Corey Hogan, a partner at HoganWillig, said that facility doesn't meet school zone criteria because its a day care center. Hogan said children walking or riding a bike to school is typically part of the requirements before putting up a speed zone camera.

“Bailey Avenue is a commercial street, there is no school on Bailey Avenue, it’s a daycare, and the doors on Bailey are locked,” Hogan said.

He said the entrance on East Amherst St. is the one being used.

HoganWillig is representing the Homestead Repair and Renovation, who filed the lawsuit.

Wyatt opposes speed cameras, and believes this one in his district may have been put on Bailey Ave. due to the high number of cars.

According to parking department data from the first week of February, the Bailey Ave. cameras saw the most cars and had the lowest violation rate at about 10% (highest compliance rate).

“They’re going after individuals that follow the law, who are least able to afford it,” Hogan said.

According to an independent report from Peter Rizzo, a certified urban planner, certified fraud examiner, and certified government auditor, found the cameras disproportionately targeted high-poverty, minority neighborhoods for the cameras.

7 Eyewitness News asked Wyatt if the council has received information on how the locations of cameras were chosen.

“We have not received anything in writing, we were told something verbally which doesn’t fit with the RFP, or the contract in which how things were actually done,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt said the council is continuously gathering information regarding the cameras.

The suit also said its unconstitutional for owners of the car, and not the driver to be ticketed. The City of Buffalo said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Hogan estimates thousands of drivers could be impacted by this lawsuit, it's looking for numbers from the city on how many fines were given from the Bailey Ave. cameras.