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Mayor announces plans for flashing beacons in school zones

Thomas O'Neil-White

Concerns about motorists speeding in school zones despite a recent city ordinance have prompted Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to take action.

Since implementing a school zone camera program in January, the City of Buffalo said returns have been discouraging. Citing concerns from residents about speeding and the visibility of signs, Brown on Wednesday announced the implementation of flashing beacons to warn drivers when they enter one of the 80 school zones in the city.

Brown said data on accidents and traffic volume will determine where beacons are installed first.

“It will begin immediately,” he said. “So driving in the City of Buffalo, if you see a flashing beacon, you know that you are approaching a speed zone.”

A high number of speeding motorists led to the decision to implement the beacons, according to Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer,

“What we’re seeing on this data in behaviors are not changing,” he said. “As the mayor said, approximately 10,000 people each and every day, and as you know this has been up for 20 business days, approximately. Not much has changed.”

The beacon program is being funded by a $700,000 state grant. Brown says motorists will not be issued any violations as the beacons are being installed but once installed anyone caught going over 26 miles per hour can expect a ticket.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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