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NYC Installing More Speed Cameras In School Zones, Expanding Enforcement

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A newly expanded speed camera law takes effect today in New York City.

That means there are nearly 1,000 speed zones around the city.

It's part of a state push to install thousands of cameras with longer hours of enforcement to keep a closer eye on drivers in school zones, even after school hours.

Web Extra: Officials Announce New Speed Camera Law

For kids heading to summer camp at PS 28 on East Tremont, even though the school season is over, their parents told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge they feel safer about them crossing the street Thursday. That's because of the hundreds of new speed cameras, including one installed there.

"That's really good because a lot of crossing guards leave at a certain time, so it will be good for the cameras to monitor when the kids leave," said Mount Hope resident Joyaida Davis.

"They come around this corner speeding all the time. Now you know the kids are safe at least," said Tiffani Suarez.

Enforcement will be expanded from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday all year round.

One mother who lost her son to a speeding driver says she hopes the cameras prevent parents from going through what she did.

"This is about saving lives. My son could have been saved, but he wasn't, and now I live with that every day. I call it a forever pain," said Evelyn Cancel.

The city will also install the cameras in more school zones, from 140 to a maximum of 750. About 40 will be installed each month until the end of the year. The new program extends the cameras to zones that weren't qualified for them until now.

"Unfortunately, the prior law didn't allow us to put a camera here. Now with the new authorization of the state, it allows us to find more quarters in the Bronx and city and get them operating right away," said Nivardo Lopez of the Department of Transportation.

City official highlighted an intersection at Anthony Avenue and East Tremont in front of PS 28 because it's what they call a "priority corridor," ranking as one of the worst spots in the city for people killed or severely hurt in a crash.

"It's very dangerous this street, to have a lot of cars," said resident Jose Lora.

"There have been incidents where they don't stop for the red light or the school bus," said resident Heidi Mendoza.

The cameras are calibrated to give drivers a ticket if they go 36 miles an hour or higher, which is 11 miles over the speed limit. The fine starts at $50.

Last year, the city collected $45 million from the speed camera program. Critics called it a cash grab. City officials say it's a deterrent.

"Where he have cameras installed now, speeding has gone down by 63 percent. Eighty percent of drivers who get a violation don't get a second violation. So the ideal revenue the city would get from this program would be zero," said Lopez.

The city plans to have all the new cameras in place by next summer.

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