Confusion over NYS Speed Cam pilot program
BUFFALO, N.Y. — In April, New York State launched an automated program to help enforce speed limits in highway construction and maintenance zones.
The five-year pilot program monitors the state Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority’s roads using 30 pieces of radar and camera equipment to collect license plate and speed data. The governor signed a bill to create the program in 2021, with support from lawmakers, including state Sen. George Borrello, in response to rising infections and numerous deaths among workers.
“I supported this program. I think it’s important. It’s our job to keep our employees safe and certainly on the Thruway and others, that’s an important role to play,” said Borrello, R-Sunset Bay.
The bill has gained attention this week due to social media posts, including a post by “NT Police Blotter – LIVE,” an account not associated with North Tonawanda Police, in which cameras were incorrectly flagged on Monday. This Facebook post surpassed 2,300 shares in almost one day.
“The state Department of Transportation is aware of social media posts containing misleading information regarding the work zone automated speed enforcement program, which was launched statewide on April 17 in an effort to get motorists to slow down in state-run work zones,” Department of Transportation spokesman Joseph Morrissey. He said.
While the cameras have been in place for several weeks, violators have only received warnings and fines begin next week – 30 days after the launch.
Borrello believes clumsy rollout by the state contributed to the confusion.
“I think it was random at best,” he said. “Again, before you had these radar systems installed on construction equipment where people could see their speed. It reminds them that you’re in a work zone. That’s the kind of action we should be taking. Now all of a sudden those programs are gone, so the “It makes me very concerned that they’re going to roll it out again as a revenue generator, not as a safety program.”
The senator said he also has concerns about whether cameras are being used in clearly marked, active work zones. The Department of Transportation notes that speed cameras are only in active work zones when highway workers are working.
Morrissey also said there will be clear signage leading to the work area.
“It’s about safety,” Borrello said. “We should let people know that there are cameras in speed zones. You will receive a ticket if you are speeding.
The cameras will move around the state during the SUV pilot program. Tickets will be $50 for a first violation, $75 for a second violation, and $100 for three or more for 18 months, sent by mail.
No points will be assessed for licenses. The Department of Transportation currently posts an official list of the locations of these daily cameras online at www.ny.gov/workzone.
(Tags for translation)APP Public Safety