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City residents cry foul over new school zone cameras, speeding tickets

Chris Caya

Buffalo speeders aren't getting much sympathy from Common Council members about tickets issued and new lower school zone limits.Councilmember Ulysees Wingo said he has been vilified on social media by people who say the tickets are unfair to some segments of the city's population. His response at Tuesday's Council session was you won't get tickets if you don't speed.

"As far as this disproportionality or as far as this targeting of poor communities, there is no such thing," Wingo said. "Why? Because there are schools in every part of the city. We are trying to protect our little people from folks who think that there should be no speed limit around schools that they have to adhere to."

Wingo said his children attend city schools and he does not want them threatened by drivers who are ignoring speed limit signs, including the new 15 mph signs in school zones during school hours.

Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt asked police for data on what is happening on the streets.

"That we get information or data to find out what has really been happening," Wyatt said, "because I don't want the unintended consequences of people getting speeding tickets all day long when they are not endangering children. We do want the school zones to be safe. We don't want the consequence of people getting tickets all day long when children aren't out in the streets or commuting off the buses."

Council President Darius Pridgen said he is at City Honors every day and sees terrible driving. He wants something done in that high-traffic area.

"Let's look and see if the light is faced right or without," Pridgen said, "but my kid is walking outside the school and we had a way to remind people not to drive 30 mph over by the park. I understand it by the park. I don't understand it way up, but if I don't, I'm going to get a ticket."

New cameras have been installed at six schools in the city with special speeding and traffic problems, and new speed limit signs have been installed across the city around schools. Mayor Byron Brown said drivers have a month to learn the new limits before heavy enforcement.

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