School Buses Need Speed Cameras Statewide

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Assembly leadership have spent the past week making political hay over the expiration of a law allowing speed cameras to be mounted on school buses in New York City.

The governor spent roughly two weeks trying to cajole the state Senate into returning for a special session. While he really wants to see Roe v. Wade codified into state law, he tried to use the speed camera bill to publicly embarrass senators. He even cited a state Transportation Department analysis that he said showed letting the speed camera legislation expire puts children at risk.

Local police departments and school district officials have been sounding the alarm for camera legislation statewide for years, with the Association for Pupil Transportation estimating more than 50,000 vehicles illegally pass school buses each year. And, just this year, state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, and Assemblyman William Magnarelli, D-Syracuse, joined forces to ask both chambers of the state Legislature to pass legislation authorizing cameras on school buses to record and ticket those who pass school buses when they are stopped.

Of course, that legislation didn’t go anywhere. Politics got in the way. It’s just plain wrong for the governor to harangue the state Senate over the New York City law’s expiration when children statewide are at risk.

If this bill is so good for New York City, why aren’t speed cameras mounted on all school buses throughout the state? That’s a question only the governor and Democrats in the state Assembly can answer.

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