NEW YORK – Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island, Republican in the race for NYC mayor, blasted on Monday Mayor de Blasio for his planned expansion of the Speed-Cam program around city schools.
Greek-American Malliotakis, who is serving her 4th term in the state legislature, called the proposed increase “a blatant cash grab by a tax and spend mayor looking for a new revenue source to help balance his out of control budgets.”
New York City currently has 140 cameras in use and is looking to raise that number to 750. The program began as a “pilot” with 20 cameras authorized in 2013 for a five year period and required a study and report of the effectiveness of the cameras. However, the program was quickly expanded the following year by 120 additional cameras in 2014 without the other criteria being met, Malliotakis informs through her website.
“Once again, Mayor de Blasio is looking to create financial pain and bureaucratic headaches for everyday New Yorkers. The de Blasio administration’s desire to install over 600 more Speed-Cams is a blatant cash grab by a tax and spend mayor looking for a new revenue source to help balance his out of control budgets,” Assemblymember Malliotakis said.
“If the mayor was truly concerned about protecting our children he would have his DOT Commissioner installing speed bumps, stop signs and traffic lights along with an increased presence of crossing guards and the NYPD in the vicinity of schools. As an example, the two schools closest to where I reside, P.S.53 and I.S.24 lack all way stop signs at their main intersections. Sadly, the proposed increase in cameras isn’t about protecting our kids, it’s about increasing revenue for the overall traffic camera program which generated a hefty $96 million in revenue for the city last year.
“If a portion of that $96 million had been allocated for smart lights that help with traffic flow and increased signage, signals and enforcement of traffic laws around schools we would have taken a major step in protecting our students and other pedestrians in areas adjacent to schools. Mayor de Blasio needs to stop picking the pocket of our taxpayers and instead focus his efforts on wide range of improvements that will stop accidents before they happen.”