City of Buffalo hit with lawsuit over 15 MPH speed limit in school zones

Attorney Kevin Stocker is suing the city of Buffalo over a program to lower the speed limit for school zones to 15 mph.

Attorney Kevin Stocker recently filed a lawsuit over complaints about the speed limit in Buffalo’s school areas. According to his lawsuit, filed on behalf of him and 53 other drivers who received traffic tickets while driving through the school zone, the city’s proposed 15 mph will make school zones more dangerous.

Children crossing road signs; Image courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay,

The city’s program is known as the School Zone Safety Program and would set a speed limit of 15 mph. “Around 20 public, private, and charter schools … Flashing warning lights would warn drivers of the lower speed limit and drivers who were camera-captured at 26 mph or more would receive a $ 50 quote to the registered owner of the car is sent. “Of that $ 50 quote, $ 36 went to town and $ 14 went to the camera company that made the quotes.

Commenting on the lawsuit, Stocker said, “They say this is necessary to protect children when it does the opposite and makes the streets more dangerous.” His lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court, “calls the drop to 15 mph in the school zone from 30 mph outside the zone a drastic sudden change that creates a dangerous condition, based on traffic safety studies.” It adds, “The 15-mile speed zone is ridiculously slow to the point where you can’t hit the accelerator and other pedestrians can run faster.” Stocker said: “We have border guards there to protect the children. It’s just a money robbery … It’s wrong. “

As part of his lawsuit, Stocker filed a petition requesting:

  • An injunction against the city’s speed camera program;
  • The discharge of all currently outstanding tickets issued under the program;
  • And refunds for tickets already paid for.

City officials see the situation differently, however. The program itself is part of Mayor Byron W. Brown’s strategy to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and officials said they “saw a drop in speed near schools with the cameras”. The program and the use of the cameras are designed to “catch motorists who are endangering students and others by racing on streets around schools”.

However, Stocker’s lawsuit indicates that according to the state manual on traffic control devices for roads near schools, “the school’s speed limit should be approximately 10 mph below the speed normally used on the road”. In addition, the lawsuit states that the state safety regulations “on speed limits in schools are also in line with a study by the Federal Ministry of Transport, in which, among other things, it was found that a speed change of more than 16 km / h without sufficient notice is the probability increases accidents. “

Stocker is also concerned about privacy concerns as the cameras that “document speed violations produce digital photos that include children present on the sidewalks in the school zone.” According to the lawsuit, the cameras use “the same identification technology banned by state education law”. For this reason, Stocker believes that the use of the cameras would “increase student privacy and potential problems with civil rights and freedoms”.


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