BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Democrat-controlled state Legislature passed legislation Tuesday approving the expanded use of speed cameras in New York city school zones, it also gives the green light to the City of Buffalo to launch a pilot program.
"We are going to replicate what they've successfully put in place in the City of New York, saving lives," said Senator Tim Kennedy.
At the same time that legislation was working its way through the assembly and senate, the Buffalo common council was working on measures of its own to protect students in Buffalo Public Schools.
A measure to legally lower the school zone speed limit to 15 m.p.h. passed unanimously.
Before today, signs with speed limits near schools were only a suggestion for drivers, but not legally enforceable.
The legislation out of Albany will add to the number of speed cameras already installed near schools in New York city's five boroughs. It will also establish a demonstration program for school zone cameras in Buffalo, home to upstate New York's largest public school district.
The city tells us they sent out an RFP to solicit a camera vendor back in the fall and plans to announce its selection shortly now that the law will put it into effect.
The camera will snap a photo of the speed offender and send a ticket in the mail to the registered car owner.
The fine can be up to $50.
Meanwhile, the city creates school zone signage in-house, they are working on getting the new signage up and out around districts to enforce the speed.
Supporters say the cameras save lives by forcing drivers to slow down in school zones, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is lauding the efforts by lawmakers on all fronts.
"This tool serves to remind all motorists to slow down, obey traffic laws and keep our children safe,” said Brown in a statement.