Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown reminded motorists to proceed with caution while traveling through school speed zones, as the City of Buffalo School Zone Safety Program will be in full effect at schools that have re-opened, beginning on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Motorists who are caught on speed cameras exceeding the posted speed limits will be issued citations for $50 per infraction.
The Buffalo School Zone Safety Program includes camera monitoring at twenty locations with corresponding flashing warning beacons, which were selected based on accident and traffic data. Five (5) of these school zones encompass six (6) schools that re-opened last month, including: Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Children’s Academy, Canisius High School, Nichols School, Notre Dame Academy, St. Joseph University School, and Westminster Community Charter School. As additional schools re-open, the cameras in the other fifteen locations will be re-activated
The comprehensive approach the City of Buffalo has employed in the limited amount of time that the program was in effect before being suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of mandatory remote learning, has already demonstrated that the aforementioned measures which have been taken have had an impact on the behavior of motorists in school zones. That initial assessment has been confirmed by monitoring at the re-opened schools where cameras were turned on in September. The ultimate goal of the demonstration program is to change motorist behavior and establish uniform policies that provide comprehensive pubic protection.
“The number one responsibility of government is ensuring public health, safety, and well-being,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “The goal is to reach 100% compliance with school zone speed limits, to ensure the safety of children, parents, administrators, faculty and staff, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”
The City of Buffalo School Zone Safety Program is supported by The Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo Board of Education, Buffalo Teachers Federation, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Say Yes to Education Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools Parent Congress, Buffalo-Parent Teacher Organization, Community Health Worker Parent Association of BPS, the District Parent Coordinating Council, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and GoBike Buffalo.
“Our School District has had many close calls involving our parents and students put into harm’s way by reckless, impatient drivers who are blowing through stop signs and red lights and racing in front of schools way beyond the legal speed limit,” added Dr. Will Keresztes, Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs, Planning, and Community Engagement for Buffalo Public Schools. “The Administration’s work to alert motorists of the speed zone cameras with flashing lights is a reasonable approach that will eliminate all concerns about fairness and adequate warning to drivers." David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes Buffalo, concluded, “The approved law drivers is a tremendous effort to protect the safety and well-being of our scholars and families. Mayor Byron W. Brown and his team have executed the law by operating speed zone cameras all day, on school days. The Administration should be fully supported in their effort to enforce the law and ensure the safety of Buffalo’s children and families.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the likelihood of a pedestrian surviving an accident after being struck by a vehicle directly correlates with the vehicle’s velocity. Vehicles traveling at 20 mph statistically yield a 90% chance of survival for the pedestrian in an event of an accident; the chance of survival for a pedestrian with a vehicle traveling at 30 mph is 50%; and the survival rate for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph is only 10%.
Below are the times that school zone speed limits are in effect for each location: