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Van Bramer Calls for Speed Cameras and More Red Light Cameras

Photo Courtesy: Office of Jimmy Van Bramer

March 19, 2013 By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is pushing for a new state law that would allow New York City to introduce up to 40 speed cameras in high-risk locations.

Van Bramer introduced a resolution before the city council late November, which has generated the support of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other legislators in recent weeks following a number of high-profile crashes. Van Bramer hopes his resolution, Resolution 919, will pass this week.

However, for the city council to introduce the speed cameras, it is dependent on Albany to pass new legislation. Presently, there is momentum in the state legislature for the change since it has being championed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the majority of the assembly members from New York City.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced by State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island.

Fines would range between $25 and $100 and insurance companies would not be notice of the violations.

“If we can save the life of just one child by reducing the speed of vehicles in our city this … program will have served its purpose,” Van Bramer said. One in four traffic deaths are caused by speeding, he added.

Opponents of speed cameras argue that it is just a means for the city to raise revenue and is another instance of big brother.

Meanwhile, AAA released a statement to NY1 on Monday, saying, “The city is not doing red light cameras right so giving the authority to do speed cameras would be a huge mistake. There is no substitute for visible law enforcement.”

Van Bramer is also sponsoring legislation (Resolution 1677) this week that calls for the increase in the number of red light cameras in New York City.

The state currently authorizes the City to operate red light cameras at no more than 150 intersections. Van Bramer wants that number to increase. However, that resolution has not generated the level of support that the speed-camera resolution has to date.

Van Bramer said that at intersections where red light cameras have been installed there has been a 56% decline in serious injuries.

Van Bramer said the two resolutions are about saving lives and that he has been an advocate for reducing speed for some time.

He said he has been focused on reducing speed-related accidents since the death of an 11-year old girl, Hallie Geier, on his own street [46th Street] in Sunnyside in 2004.

“I was on the Community Board when we introduced speed bumps on 46th Street and have tried to do everything to prevent needless accidents since,” he said.

“We can’t prevent all fatalities but we can reduce them,” Van Bramer said. He said that he has been a long-time traffic safety advocate lobbying for speed bumps, stop signs and other traffic calming measures.

Van Bramer said these resolutions are not about the city generating revenue or collecting nuisance fines. “I have fought the Department of Health on the behalf of businesses who have been improperly ticketed…and on behalf of car owners who were unfairly ticketed.”

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Rick Duro


I checked out that link. Where is the ‘evidence’? All I see is a quote from a guy claiming there is evidence. Who commissioned the study? I can just as easily put up this link and say there is no evidence that proves red light cameras work:

Regarding poo on the sidewalk, all of those ‘societal ills’ are just as disgusting. I am not trying to deflect anything, read the bottom of the post, mac. There is just as much, if not more, trash on our sidewalks as there is poo. So, it’s ok for a child to pick up a cigarette butt? Broken glass? old chicken bones? bottle caps? You think it’s possible to protect your kid 100% of the time? All it takes is 1 second. Also, just ask any dog owner who has had to take their dog to the vet (as I have) for a few stitches after it walked on glass, or ate a chicken bone (all it takes is 1 second) off of the ground that ends up being full of nasty stuff like Leptospirosis, Tularemia, etc, vet bills ain’t cheap, buddy. Talk about a mine field, and what is so absurd is that there are garbage cans/bags all over the place to dump your trash. Ever see the park banches in the nicer weather? All kinds of food and trash.

My point was that there are lots of people doing the wrong thing when it comes to putting their trash in the right place. Just like some parents that, for whatever reason, throw their garbage into the hedges around my building after school. It happens every day. I park around the school and see them do it all the time, while waiting for the 4pm ‘ok’ to park there. Our building had to put up a security gate on the side of the building because people waiting to pick up children would frequently urinate in our alley.

What people need to do is SPEAK UP, when they see someone not pick up after their dog, toss trash on the ground, speed an e bike down the sidewalk, etc etc. When I see someone not pick up I ask them to, by offering them a bag, only once was someone an ahole about it. The overwhelming majority of people do the right thing. If that wasn’t the case we’d see MORE poo and trash everywhere. There are always going to be lazy aholes, OM….


Rick Duro


There will be plenty of room to play a few mini Euro soccer games running parallel to the dog park. Plus, when there are not softball games being played, there will be that much more room as well.

SUDS advocated for a full court hoop set up, but Parks felt the overall design worked better with a 2 half court set up.

Check out the attached link and click on the dog run picture. a second design will pop up showing the outline for the entire park:



I noticed that the way skillman park is being revamped is a bit off compared to the pictures and looking at the real thing, there’s going to alot of space from the dog park to the softball field, any chance of filling the gap with mini euro soccer nets or full court basketball courts?



I was there when Hallie Gaier was hit, she was not hit by a speeding car! No one at the time said she was and to imply such now is awful.

If AAA is against it, and says NYC is not using the cameras correctly, why are we rushing ahead?

Fighting erroneously given tickets is not the same as never having gotten one in the first place. Put living, breathing well-trained police officers out there. Tell them to help everyone by controlling traffic. Don’t put more Big Brother eyes on us. They destroy freedom in the name of an imagined safety that is impossible to achieve.

Voice of Reason

Slowing down vehicle traffic is of vital importance in order to ensure the safety of bicyclists as they run red lights, stop signs and ig,nore one- way street signs. We can not suffer speeding cars endangering these precious community resources.


Another electronic fix to a problem government created–traffic was much less troublesome before you turned this neighborhood into a regional destination so businesspeople can grow rich here. You have destroyed the peace, now you seek to make money off it. Sick. Sick. Sick. And the people who live here always lose. Stop thinking about money. Think about people. I’m disgusted with the lot of you.

43rd & 43rd

@S. Sunnysider, the best thing you could do to keep yourself safe crossing Queens Blvd. is to avoid jaywalking. I haven’t seen any cars running reds on Queens Blvd. I do see a TON of people jaywalking, even in areas where it’s obviously not safe (e.g. 40th St. north side, where there is a rise in the road so you can’t see approaching cars). I saw someone killed this way at 46th St. south side. As a pedestrian, I think you’re pretty safe crossing Queens Blvd. if you actually stick to crosswalks with streetlights. Other roads are a different story.

Oppressed Masses

Rick, scientific studies have shown that while red light cameras are not a panacea for traffic problems, they are a very effective tool for safer and more efficient transportation. These studies have produced evidence that the presence of cameras creates a “spillover effect,” in that drivers respect red lights even where no cameras were present. See, for example,

Among the various societal ills you, as usual, cite to deflect attention from the scourge of dog excrement and urine, the plague of dog waste on Sunnyside’s sidewalks and tree planting areas is far more extensive and a greater threat to public health than any of the others. Just ask any Mom who faces these mindfields on a daily basis. Just as studies have established the successful deterrence effect of traffic cams, dog poop cams would bring about a change in the behavior of dog owners and a respect for the curb and pick up after your dog laws.


Take on the large corporations like RJ Reynolds & Miller-Coors and then I’ll know you’re serious about safety.


If this is one of many moves to slow down traffic, we should all support this statistically-proven supplement to traffic enforcement. If you are a driver who navigates through our neighborhood with care and respect, thanks. There are too many who drive too fast; as a result, there are many accidents and fatalities involving cars. We need a practical and efficient approach- decades of education, along with thousands of traffic lights and signs announcing the speed limit do not seem to make a lot of difference.


@Rick Duro

I noticed that the way skillman park is being revamped is a bit off compared to the pictures and looking at the real thing, there’s going to alot of space from the dog park to the softball field, any chance of filling the gap with mini euro soccer nets or full court basketball courts?


Sunnyside Baby

We don’t need to be babysat more by the city. This level of surveillance is getting out of hand. How many people have been killed by speeding (not drunk driving) since that girl was killed in 2004?

People need to practice awareness and parents need to teach their kids to watch the road, look for traffic and walk when safe. Parents have a habit of blaming society for their own failings.

Rick Duro

Make laws tougher on DWI, speeding in school zones, driving w/o license/insurance, etc.

-DWI-automatic loss of license for a year, mandatory driver’s ed classes, steeper fines. 2nd time permanent loss of license.
-Speeding 20mph over stated limit in school zone-same
-driving w/o a license/insurance-JAIL.
-going around a school bus discharging kids, with the stop sign out, more than once-lose license for a year.

No plea deals to lesser crimes. Accidents caused by the above lead to death and/or financial ruin. Start treating them that way.

Cams won’t change anything. Band-aid on a gaping wound.


Rick Duro

We could also use littering cams. Maybe cigarette butt cams. How about public urination cams? Jay walking cams. Bikes on the sidewalk cams.

If we can save one resident from having to walk through broken glass, discarded food, old cigarette butts chock full of chemicals, while shading their eyes from people peeing in public all while dodging e bikes on our sidewalks it would be well worth it!

We don’t need more cams. We need education. It should be harder for people to get licenses. I drive from Sunnyside thru the Bronx into Westchester every day. Easily 1/3 of the people out there do not belong on the road. Forget about parallel parking….that % jumps even higher.

A driver’s license is not a right. Force people to sit thru video/pics of car wrecks caused by speeding.

Cameras are only going to make people race to beat a red light. Not to mention the fact that many tickets are being challenged in court because the cams don’t operate correctly-taking pic while you are still in the yellow and the yellow changing to red too rapidly.

Better solution, raise the price of a speeding ticket. More points too

As for the dog poo, of course, it’s gross and anyone that doesn’t pick it up is a disgusting ahole. Raise the fine on that and blitz a ‘hood every now and then with $250 tix. That’ll learn’em.



I take the 7 Train. I have to cross Queens Boulevard. If there is a statistic that shows that this reduces my chances of death, I am all for traffic cameras.

It would be great if the revenue from the cameras could be used to reconfigure our streets to slow traffic where it’s needed.

Native NYer

Hmm.. Is there anyway the red light cameras can ticket the 99% of bicycle riders that go through red light.

Marty Concerned

Load of rubbish….Money from tickets is all they are after !! Its sickening already how expensive it is to run a vehicle in NYC!!

Oppressed Masses

Perhaps Councilman Van Bramer and city officials will work next on plans for dog poop cams. If we could save one mom from the burdens of rolling a baby stroller through a dog’s mess left on the sidewalk or exposing a child to disease from picking up a lump of you know what deposited in the dirt at the base of a tree, dog poop cams will be well worth it.


What guarantee is there that these cameras are accurate at detecting a car’s speed?

What guarantee is there that they’ll only be used to catch speeders and not just another Big Brother spy system?


For some reason the intersection between 47st and 43ave is often the scene of minor crashes and near misses. Seems like the traffic on 43ave is picking up max speed at this point and motorists coming down 47th from the Boulevard seem to have a nasty habit of not seeing the stop sign.


Maybe I am just cranky this morning and looking for something to complain about. And don’t get me wrong, I support Councilman Van Bramer 100% and I will vote for him and help him get re-elected. I also think his proposal can have a positive affect and also support it. However, his logic is just a little flawed.

He is quoted as saying:

“If we can save the life of just one child by reducing the speed of vehicles in our city this … program will have served its purpose.”

Of course we want to save lives, but saving the life of one child is NOT a SUFFICIENT cause for a program. If it were, why not mandate cars off the streets altogether?


dumass idea its not enough that the red lights cameras are rigged and go off before they are supposed to, now put speed cameras? just more money for the city to take it, i dont mind it for motorcycles they usually go fast on streets


Put up more speed bumps.

Cameras may catch people after the fact but speed bumps will eff them up right away.

Knuckleheads behind the wheel don’t think about cameras or killing and maiming people on the road. They do, however, worry about their vehicles getting damaged when they hit a speed bump.

At least JVB got his name in the paper today. He’s like the Chuck Shumer. Anything for media attention.


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