Statement of Dr. Mitchell Katz Urging State Senate Approval of the Speed Camera Safety Bill to Expand Speed Cameras in School Zones and Reduce Preventable Death and Injury Caused by Traffic Accidents
Aug 02, 2018
We know that there is no way to prevent all accidents. But we know for a fact that the leading cause of accidents is drivers speeding.
Speeding is a leading cause of traffic fatalities in New York City and a major cause of serious injuries to children and adults. And speed cameras—which ticket a vehicle owner driving 11mph over the speed limit—are a proven method of saving lives.
The speed of that car going down the street—hitting a pedestrian, hitting a bicycle—is going to determine the degree of harm to that person. We have an opportunity to prevent that.
The City of New York wants to expand its life-saving speed camera program around school zones—and we need the help of the State Senate to get it done. Last week, the Senate failed to preserve and expand speed cameras; 140 school zones were protected by speed cams, but because of their inaction only 20 school zones remain. Kids are currently attending summer school and are being protected, but come the end of August, those 20 school zones will also disappear.
As health care professionals, we see firsthand the health impact of traffic accidents from car collisions and pedestrian injuries: broken bones, back and head injuries, concussions, and much worse. Over the last two years, our five Level 1 Trauma Centers saw more than 3,000 cases of motor vehicle accidents and more than 100 patient deaths related to motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian injuries.
Many of these patients require surgery. Some require long-term rehabilitation. And some experience the emotional toll of a disability or chronic pain that can often lead to depression. These are preventable deaths and injuries.
Speed cameras have already proven their life-saving purpose. We know fewer people are hurt or killed where cameras are in place. That is why I am asking members of the New York State Senate to do what the Assembly has already committed to do—preserve and expand speed cameras.
The bottom line is that speed cameras protect kids and protect New Yorkers. Let’s avoid the loss of life, pain, and suffering caused by preventable traffic deaths and injuries. Let’s make sure New York City can install traffic cameras in more school zones where we need them to save lives.