NYC’s Speed Cameras Go 24/7

Mayor Adams celebrates the change for speed cameras with pedestrian safety advocates on August 1, 2022. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Since the automated enforcement program launched in 2014, speeding violations dropped on average of 72 percent at camera locations. On August 1, 2022, all of the City’s speed cameras began operating 24/7/365. This change stems from June 24’s passage of a state law amending speed camera hours. The bill’s prime sponsors in the State Assembly and Senate were Assembly Member Deborah Glick and State Senator Andrew Gounardes, respectively.

After Governor Kathy Hochul signed the speed camera legislation into law last month, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) began deploying a robust outreach strategy to inform motorists. DOT outreach material included messaging within mailed violation notices, and digital and print-ready flyers in eleven languages. DOT also committed $500,000 on paid media efforts to highlight the expansion, including a 30-day social media campaign featuring real New Yorkers.

Citywide, NYC operates over 2,000 speed cameras in 750 different zones. Violations are issued when vehicles exceed the posted speed limit by over 10 MPH, and an accompanying $50 fine is then mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. Since the City’s automated enforcement program began in 2014, speeding violations have dropped an average of 72 percent at speed camera locations.

However, there has been a nationwide increase in traffic fatalities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speeding and fatalities that occur overnight or on the weekends have caused particular concern. In NYC, motor-vehicle fatalities far outpace fatalities from all other travel modes, with speed cited as a major contributing factor in most crashes. While the City’s speed camera program is highly effective when operational, 31 percent of on-street traffic fatalities occur in camera zones at times when cameras were previously not allowed to operate.

Mayor Eric Adams met with traffic and pedestrian safety advocates on August 1st to flip a “ceremonial switch” to celebrate the change for the City’s speed cameras.

Prime Assembly Sponsor Deborah Glick shared with CityLand, “The expansion of the program to 24/7 operation, we fought hard for it, it’s a vital piece of improving street safety and reducing traffic violence, but obviously we have other aspects that we want to advance in the coming session.” Glick also addressed opponents who argue the legislation is solely a way for the city to make money, sharing, “People who are driving have control over whether or not they speed . . . if you don’t speed, you don’t get a ticket, so the City could wind up with no revenue at all.”

Department of Transportation Commissioner Rodriguez praised the speed camera expansion, stating, “New York City and a coalition of advocates worked hard and traveled often to Albany to get this full-time speed camera authorization passed. We have hard data that show speed cameras save lives. Drivers should continue to drive carefully, observe speed limits and be aware that our speed cameras, starting August 1, will be operational day and night.”

City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers: “For years, our city has faced a significant issue within speeding and reckless driving behavior that’s hurting too many New Yorkers. I’m glad that the Department of Transportation is confronting this crisis by expanding the city’s speed camera program to 24/7, 365 days a year.”

NYS Senator Robert Jackson of Manhattan, who voted in favor of the bill, shared that “In a city that doesn’t sleep, authorizing speed cameras to operate 24/7 is the right move and will save lives, period.” Jackson added that “Safer streets are a top priority for my constituents and me. I was happy to help pass my colleague Senator Gounardes’ bill in the Senate . . . I look forward to our streets being safer for all New Yorkers.”

Senator Gounardes himself thanked Governor Hochul and the community members who advocated for this bill, stating, “Now that cameras will be operational 100% of the time, drivers can no longer speed and drive recklessly with impunity. For the first time, accountability on New York City streets runs 24/7 — and it will undoubtedly save lives.”

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

Vision Zero: on “Citywide Day of Awareness,” NYC DOT Reminds New Yorkers That Speed Cameras Go 24/7 Next Monday, July 27, 2022.



One thought on “NYC’s Speed Cameras Go 24/7

  1. Another nail in the coffin of New York City. Get your councilmen to pay for their own salaries by actually working instead of passing B.S. bills. Vacancy rates in Office buildings is at 80% of pre pandemic levels. Transit at 60%. Congestion pricing will drive everyone into the suburbs . Try cutting salaries and staff. Too many engineers at MTA that jack up the cost of everything. English is not their language.

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