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Bronx, Queens Residents Call On Albany To Extend Speed Camera Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A roadblock is fast approaching for the New York State program that uses cameras to catch speeders in school zones.

A campaign to get Albany to act now resulted in midday rallies in two boroughs Thursday.

Speed cameras in school zones, hated by some, are more of a love-hate thing for one Bronx resident.

"They're good when they catch stuff, and they're bad when they catch me speeding," he told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

The pilot program that's putting speed cameras near schools in 140 zones expires July 25. To keep them from fading out, New York State lawmakers must step in with a special session.

More: Mayor To Albany: Don't End School Zone Speed Camera Program

In Queens, a demonstration to extend the camera program had a similar format to one in the Bronx. Both featured relatives of kids killed by speeding drivers near schools. And both urged lawmakers to get it passed, keeps cameras rolling, and the tickets flowing.

"We need speed cameras," one demonstrator said.

But some drivers, who consider the fines a kind of tax and a city money grab, are happy to hear the cameras may go dark.

"I'm a driver who could like them, you know what I mean?" said one driver.

"The motivation has always been about protecting lives and preventing injuries," Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz said.

"We've seen fatal crashes have decrease by 55 percent in school zones with speed cameras," said State Sen. Jeffrey Klein.

Assemblyman Dinowitz and State Sen. Klein told reporters they just got the votes needed after State Sen. Martin Golden announced he is eager to keep the cameras going and wants to vote yes.

Supporters of the legislation say getting it does not stop their fight. They say they want photo enforcement speed cameras for every school zone.

"There are 2,000 schools in New York. We really need more but will take this for now," one demonstrator said.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is being pressured to reconvene in Albany and call a vote. His representatives told CBS2 the door is not closed on a special session, but there are no plans for one at this time.

Drivers caught on the cameras speeding in schools zones are issued tickets with a $50 fine.

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