Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by Commissioner of Public Works Michael Finn and Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer, provided an update today on the City’s School Speed Zone Enforcement program. Mayor Brown announced that this Wednesday, March 11th, the first set of flashing warning beacons will go live at two school speed zone signs, alerting drivers when the 15 miles per hour limit is in effect. The school camera locations are Delaware Avenue in front of Canisius High School and along Jefferson Avenue, in front of the Stanley Makowski Early Childhood School. As a result, drivers who exceed the posted 15 mile per hour speed zone limit by eleven miles or more, while the beacons are flashing, will no longer receive a warning; instead they will receive a $50 violation notice.
Mayor Brown stated, “My Administration has consistently stated the program will pursue two goals: first, to protect the lives of children by lowering the speed of moving vehicles around their schools. Simply put, speed kills. According to the World Health Organization, the odds of a pedestrian surviving an accident jump from 50% to 90% when a vehicle slows down from 30 miles per hour to 15.”
He continued, “Our second goal is to change the behaviors of drivers who are driving too fast for urban streets. Data generated by the program demonstrates that a significant portion of those who have received warnings were not driving vehicles registered in the City of Buffalo.”
DPW Commissioner Finn stated, “It takes an extra thirty seconds to travel through a speed zone at 15 mph, compared to 30 mph. This additional thirty seconds is minimal in relationship to the overall average vehicle trip in the City.”
The beacons will only flash during the limited time-periods when the school speed zone limits are in effect. Those hours were set by the State law governing Buffalo’s camera speed enforcement program: one- hour before the start of school, one-hour after the close of school, and during the school day and student activities. Enforcement activities during these hours creates a window of safety for City children whose daily activities around their campuses may not just be limited to being dropped off or picked from school.
Mayor Brown also reminded visitors to the city of Buffalo that they need to be especially mindful that speed limits are lower, City streets are narrower and there is a higher volume of traffic than they may be accustomed to seeing.
GATSO, considered the most reliable and personally a committed long-term partner in realizing efficient, effective and measurable traffic enforcement solutions, operates speed enforcement systems in fifteen U.S. cities. The T-Series fixed speed enforcement solution enjoys a 99% accuracy rate.
Mayor Brown concluded, “I am confident that these additional steps, like adding the beacons, are making it easier for motorists to drive slower and students to feel safer. My Administration will continue to monitor driving behavior on the City’s streets, and especially around school zones, and make any adjustments necessary to accomplish our two goals.”
The School Zone Safety Program builds on Mayor Brown’s continued commitment to public safety.
His ongoing efforts to reduce speeding and improve safety in neighborhoods citywide has included the installation of speed humps, increased traffic enforcement, and a Radar/LIDAR unit within the Buffalo Police Department.