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Automated speed enforcement in school zones could be implemented in Syracuse

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The city of Syracuse is considering automated speed enforcement in school zones. A resolution supporting the technology passed during this week's Common Council meeting.

The technology is intended to be used as a traffic calming measure aimed at promoting safety and preventing injury around schools.

"This aligns with the city's effort to move toward a Vision Zero approach which is related to reducing serious injuries, fatalities, on our road network," Neil Burke, of the department of public works, said.

Burke said a camera would capture the license plate and send a ticket to the registered owner of the speeding vehicle. Cameras would be operated during school hours — defined as 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in New York or during a dedicated school function.

"Generally speaking, what we've seen is that one to two citations is all that drivers tend to incur," Burke said. "These technologies readily correct the behaviors that they target. The speeding or stale red light running, they are very effective."

Burke said the funds from ticket fees would be diverted back into safety programs.

Common Council President Helen Hudson suggested exploring other areas for the technology where children attend after-school programs.

"Some of our kids are dropped off by the school busses to the different community centers," Hudson said. "So, how are we looking at those intersections?"

A resolution does not bind the city to any purchases or agreements. The state legislature would need to implement the technology because a citation is involved.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.