De Blasio calls for renewal of speed cameras near schools

Mayor de Blasio and dozens of advocates held a rally Sunday to demand that state senators renew speed cameras near schools after the lawmakers failed to extend the street safety program last week.

“This one’s a no-brainer —the Republican majority in the State Senate has a simple job to do and they didn’t do it,” de Blasio told a crowd of 40 in Union Square. “Thousands and thousands of kids need to be protected.”

Children attending summer school will be put in danger when the cameras are shut down next month, he said.

“On July 25, these cameras get turned off. And don’t believe the hype that says, ‘Oh, we have all summer to work it out.’ We don’t. There’s a thing called summer school,” de Blasio said. “Don’t let the Senate off the hook on that one. We need these cameras on all summer to protect so many kids who go to summer school, and we need them back on for the school year, when literally tens of thousands of lives are on the line.”

He added, “The only people who should fear speed cameras are the people who are speeding.”

State senators caught heat for failing to extend a pilot program that placed speed cameras near schools in the final hours of the Albany legislative session last week. The safety program had been part of de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic causalities around the city.

At the rally on Sunday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer also urged lawmakers to keep the cameras.

“How dare these Republicans in the State Senate put my kids in danger, put your kids in danger, and more importantly say kids don’t matter?” he fumed. ”Republicans, wake up and get this bill done. Our kids’ lives depend on this.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie added,“I know firsthand that Albany is the art of the trade, the art of the compromise, but there are some things that should not be part of those things — and that is the lives of the children of the City of New York.”

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