Will speeding drivers see red, as some renew calls for cameras?

Jul 12, 2017

Buffalo Common Councilmembers want something done about what they say is rampant speeding on city streets. Red light cameras and more traffic police are on their wish list.

Several Councilmembers contrasted the speed enforcement in much of the city - or lack thereof - and the heavy-handed ticketing when the Scajaquada speed limit was cut to 30 miles an hour. The move was to "condition" people to the much lower speed, they contend.

However, much of Tuesday's discussion centered on what members said was "speedway" travel along Bailey Avenue.

Credit National Public Radio

"On Bailey Avenue, you can go 50 miles per hour right now, right now, right down from Kensington all the way down to Delavan, you go 50 miles per hour and you're not going to get a ticket," said the Lovejoy District's Richard Fontana. "The enforcement's not there. So next resolution I'm going to write with Mr. Wyatt is going to be asking for more speed enforcement on Bailey Avenue, because the average speed on Bailey Avenue, according to police, is 45 miles an hour."

There also was the issue of two unsolved hit-and-run fatal accidents in recent days, pointed to be the University District's Rasheed Wyatt.

"The two individuals who were killed by hit and run drivers, Miss Ramona Sanders, who leaves children, and the police haven't been able to identify the individuals who did it and Mr. Arthur Reddick on Bailey," Wyatt said. "These are two individuals who were just walking across the street and we had these individuals who hit them and left the scene to leave their families grieving."

The Masten District's Ulysees Wingo pointed to disparities in policing and traffic enforcement around the city and the need to change that.

"Pembroke, where people coming off the 33 speeding. We have called. We have concerns. Nothing," said Wingo. "So I believe this is a very, very serious issue. It does need to come to the forefront. We do need to support Councilman Wyatt's resolution and try to make sure that whatever they come up with as far as a feasibility study is concerned, we need to ensure this thing has some teeth and it has legs so they can walk."

Wyatt wants red light cameras to be studied again, since they produce better images of bad drivers than the long-range images of the city's network of surveillance cameras, such as the one that caught one of the fatal hit-and-runs, but is so fuzzy it is of limited use.