New York, NY – NYC Council Member Brad Lander issued the following statement in response to the New York State Legislature’s failure to renew New York City’s school-zone speed camera program, which expired this morning:

“As my grandmother would say, the failure of the New York State Senate GOP — especially Leader Flanagan, Senator Felder, and Senator Golden — to protect the lives of our kids is a shonda.

Despite months of notice, weeks of promises, and extraordinary advocacy by family members who lost loved ones to reckless driving, the State Senate failed to extend NYC’s life-saving school-zone speed camera program. As a result, the City of New York will no longer be able to issue $50 tickets to drivers who speed near schools. There is strong evidence that more drivers will speed, more crashes will take place, and more of our kids will be killed.

But this is no time to let up. We will not relent in our work to hold reckless drivers accountable and to protect our kids, seniors, and families from traffic crashes.

To start, I’m joining Transportation Alternatives, Families for Safe Streets, and so many advocates tonight at M.S. 51 at 6:30 PM for an All City Assembly to save speed cameras — and I hope all who are devastated by Albany’s failure will join.

And I pledge today to redouble my effort to pass the Reckless Driver Accountability Act in the New York City Council, which I introduced in June.

The City may not have the authority to charge $50 tickets, but we can still use the cameras to gather information on the most dangerous drivers, keep a City database to identify the repeat offenders, the cars that pose a danger to public safety, and warn them of the consequences of reckless driving, for themselves and for their neighbors – all of which can be done through the implementation of the Reckless Driver Accountability Act.

I am not giving up – and neither are the fearless advocates of Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, and all elected official of good conscience. It is very literally our kids on the line.”