A speed trap camera in Brooklyn drew some unwanted attention after it issued 1,551 tickets in one day at a cost of $77,550 for drivers. Every ticket is $50. The speed trap is just after an exit ramp from a busy parkway in south Brooklyn.
New York City's Department of Transportation (DOT) has defended the presence of the camera and its location, telling the New York Post that there is plenty of time for drivers to slow down to 35 MPH before they get to the camera. By the end of 2015, there will be 120 new speed cameras around the city, part of the new mayoral administration's efforts to bring pedestrian deaths by cars to zero.
There are currently only 20 speed trap cameras around the city, but they are highly effective. Existing cameras have issued 183,000 tickets since January and have made a profit of $9.2 million.
Well-known and established local blog Sheepshead Bites was the first to report about the ticket-happy camera in Brooklyn. The blog authors have engaged in a strange back-and-forth with the DOT over the exact number of tickets the camera has issued on the date in question, which was July 7.
A local politician, City Council Member Chaim Deutsch, previously said that the camera gave out 6,000 tickets on July 7. The DOT has since said that 1,551 was the peak number of tickets issued by the speed trap camera.
The camera has been controversial among people in the community, who say that it is positioned in a way that almost makes it impossible to exit the parkway without getting a speeding ticket.
"This camera seems to be conveniently placed so close to the exit ramp that you are almost guaranteed to set off this speed trap," said Connie C., who told Sheepshead Bites that she was shocked to find a $50 ticket in the mail for a July 22 drive past the speed trap camera. "[It's] positioned right in between the exit ramp and the entrance ramp, so basically they have you either way. As you are accelerating to get onto the ramp to enter the highway or coming off the highway at 50 mph. I thought is seemed quite fishy."
Although Council Member Deutsch is generally in favor of a camera in the location, he has gone on the record as saying drivers should be given a chance to slow down. Yet ultimately, he told the local blog that speed trap or no, "we need to make sure our roads are safe."
[Photo: Google Maps photo of location of speed trap camera]