Doctors share stories, push for speed camera program renewal

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Trauma doctors across New York City gathered at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Thursday to push state lawmakers to renew the city's speed camera program.

They shared their experiences treating pedestrians and cyclists who suffered brain injuries, skeletal fractures and internal bleeding at the hands of speeding drivers.

Cameras in 120 school zones citywide shut off on July 25 after the state Senate failed to renew the program. Cameras in the remaining 20 zones will expire at the end of August.

Under the program, the city Department of Transportation says the Grand Concourse in the Bronx saw a decrease in speeding by more than 80 percent, with serious injuries down 22 percent. In Brooklyn, Flatbush Avenue saw an 80 percent reduction in speeding, with 24 percent fewer serious injuries.

"Most trauma patients don't just have one injury, one broken bone," says Dr. Renee Spiegel. "They usually have multiple organ systems damaged, and it really takes an entire trauma village to get them back to, hopefully, a good level of function."

The mayor's office says there is bipartisan support in the state Senate, with 34 co-sponsors. Only 32 votes are needed to pass any bill, but it has yet to reach the floor for a vote. The Assembly overwhelmingly passed the measure in June.

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