Motorists speed through school zones all the time, despite the threat of an expensive fine and license points. They’re in a hurry, yes, but they know the odds of getting caught are pretty slim, since most municipalities lack the resources to police every school zone.
Limited experiments downstate with radar-equipped cameras that record a motorist’s speed and enable municipalities to impose administrative fines have been successful in getting the lead-footed legions to slow down. It’s time for the state to expand the experiment.
The Assembly has approved a plan to do that in New York City and Long Island — and Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports it — but why stop there? Upstate motorists are just as guilty of jeopardizing the lives of schoolchildren. And their communities are just as hard-pressed financially, so they don’t have the resources to enforce the speed limit as they should.
Indeed, speed cameras could provide these communities with a financial windfall. The fines on these violations downstate are only $50 — enough to send a warning but not as stern a one as an actual school-zone speeding ticket. Yet, in aggregate, they can raise millions of dollars for the community that installs them. Such infusions could be used to augment traditional law enforcement resources or cut taxes. Hard to argue with either of those choices.