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Council seeks judge's opinion on legislation to eliminate school speed zone cameras

Council seeks judge's opinion on legislation to eliminate school speed zone cameras

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Speed zone camera

Cameras placed outside schools to enforce school speed zones have been controversial.

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has said he will not sign expedited legislation approved by the Common Council to eliminate school zone speed cameras because council members did not follow the proper process.

Council President Darius G. Pridgen and other members maintain the Council’s vote was appropriate.

Now, the Council wants a judge to weigh in.

The Council wants a judicial opinion on Article 3, Section 19 of the City Charter, which Council members say authorizes them to approve the ordinance amendment for immediate passage.

Lawmakers also want to know what happens if Brown does not respond to the ordinance amendment and how that would affect enacting the legislation.

The clarity will help the current and future lawmakers and will be crucial to how the city’s legislative body operates, Pridgen said. 

The Council adopted a resolution Tuesday directing the city's corporation counsel to obtain the judicial opinion.

The Council and the Brown administration have been in conflict for about a year over speed camera enforcement in school zones. Most recently, the two sides have been at odds over the required legislative procedure to make official a measure passed by the Common Council in April to end the use of speed cameras in the program. The measure passed 6-3, a veto-proof tally.

The legislative action called for removing the speed cameras by September and replacing them with radar speed signs and nonpunitive traffic calming measures in school zones, such as speed humps. It also changes the school zone speed limit from 15 mph to 20 mph and requires the city to place "school" pavement markings and crosswalks by schools.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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