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June 18, 2018, 3:28 PM

NYPD commissioner joins push to add cameras near schools

By Kevin Sheehan

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill joined local politicians and school officials Monday to demand that Albany push through a bill to add hundreds of additional surveillance cameras on streets located in school zones.

O’Neill — standing in front of Bay Ridge Elementary School for the Arts in Brooklyn — said the cameras are needed to help prevent kids from being run down as they walk to and from school.

“This pending bill will allow us to keep the cameras we currently have while doubling the number of school zones we can cover with new ones,” he said.

Since the cameras were installed in 2014, officials say the number of drivers caught on camera while speeding has dropped more than 60 percent across the city, which means drivers are learning to slow down near schools.

Officials say the number of fatal crashes near schools has dropped a full 25 percent.

Opponents of the bill argue that the cameras are little more than a speed trap for unsuspecting drivers and kick in only when motorists are going 11 mph over the speed limit.

The city has collected more than $122 million from the violations, which cost drivers $50 each time.