Kat Aaron is an Associate Producer for WNYC, where she is part of Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
City-Owned Vehicles Are Speeding in School Zones (And So Is Everyone Else)
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 04:00 PM
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|
|Taxi & Livery||3,894|
|Political Subdivision - Official||308|
|Organization - Passenger||154|
|Pro Sports Team Custom Plates||98|
|Voluntary Ambulance Service||14|
|International Registration Plan||12|
|Source: NYC Department of Finance|