Sept. 13, 2021 By Christian Murray
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that the NYPD will be stepping up its traffic enforcement near schools this week.
The announcement comes as public schools fully reopen for in-person classes today, the first time they are operating on a full-time, in-person basis since March 2020.
The increase in enforcement also comes at a time when the Mayor is calling on Albany to permit the city to use its speed cameras in school zones on a 24/7 basis—instead of just Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. through 10 p.m.
The mayor said that the NYPD will increase its traffic enforcement all autumn, although with a special push this week.
He said officers will ticket drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists near schools. Additionally officers will look to target reckless drivers and those who speed in areas close to schools.
“New York City schools have the most rigorous COVID-19 safety protocols in the country, but our mission isn’t complete until all facilities are safe from traffic violence, too,” de Blasio said in a statement.
The NYPD said Friday that it is ready to step up enforcement.
“The NYPD is committed to making sure our roadways are safe for the return of all of our city’s students,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster. “This citywide enforcement initiative will be focused on holding drivers that speed — and drivers that fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists — accountable.”
The DOT released city data Thursday that revealed that one-third of fatal crashes last year occurred in school speed zones overnight or on weekends. The cameras, however, were not permitted to be on.
De Blasio is calling on Albany to allow the city to operate its 1,400 speed cameras in 750 school zones on a 24/7 basis—instead of just weekdays.
“Albany must allow us to operate our speed cameras overnight and hold dangerous drivers accountable, no matter when they break the law.”
Legislation has been introduced in both the state senate and assembly calling for 24/7 camera use in school zones. State lawmakers aim to pass the bills in their upcoming legislative session.