City-Owned Vehicles Are Speeding in School Zones (And So Is Everyone Else)

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More than 200 city-owned vehicles have been caught speeding in school zones, according to a WNYC analysis of speed camera data.

New York City currently has 20 speed cameras operating around the city, all near schools. Between mid-January, when they were turned on, and late May (the most recent data available), the cameras have issued more than 41,000 tickets.

Passenger cars got far and away the most tickets — just over 34,000, about 80 percent of the total. In second place: vehicles with Taxi and Limousine Commission plates, with about 4,000 tickets. Most of those – more than 3,200 - went to liveries (including green borough taxis), which have plate numbers distinct from yellow cabs. Commercial vehicles came in third, with over 1,000 tickets.

Just over 300 of the vehicles have plates with a registration class of "PSD," for "political subdivision - official." Two hundred of those are registered to New York City, according to Marti Adams, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio. City employees caught speeding are responsible for paying that ticket, Adams said. The other government-owned cars could be registered to any other city in New York State, or to a state-operated agency like the MTA.

To trigger a ticket, a vehicle has to be going more than 11 miles over the posted speed limit in the school zone. The tickets each carry a $50 fee.

More than 500 vehicles with vanity plates were caught speeding. Plates include GOUMBAA2, BAJANQN, 2FRESSSH and IMUZBEK. One plate reads ONFOOT, which the driver obviously wasn’t.

WNYC analyzed ticket data from January through May – the most recent detailed data available. During most of that period, only five cameras were up and running. In June, when all 20 were operational, the cameras issued another 48,517 tickets.  

Under legislation signed in June, the city can add another 120 cameras near schools. Those should be installed by the end of the year. All the cameras issue tickets starting an hour before school, and shut off an hour after school ends. They don't issue tickets on weekends, but they will be ticketing during summer weekdays near schools with summer programs, according to the Department of Transportation.


Which Vehicles Are Getting Speed Camera Tickets?
Vehicle Type Number of Tickets
Passenger 34,001
Taxi & Livery 3,894
Commercial 1,072
Vanity 529
Rental 484
Political Subdivision - Official 308
Livery bus 193
Organization - Passenger 154
School Car 115
Omnibus 112
Pro Sports Team Custom Plates 98
Motorcycle 75
Medical Doctor 61
Regional 45
Tow Truck 35
State-Owned Vehicle 20
All Other 17
Voluntary Ambulance Service 14
International Registration Plan 12
Source: NYC Department of Finance