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Final Buffalo school speed zone camera has been turned off

Mayor Byron Brown says he has turned off the last operating school speed zone camera after the University District council member spoke out against it on Facebook.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Thursday morning, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the city has shut off the last remaining school speed zone camera that had still been running in the University District.

The Mayor sent us a statement, one day after 2 On Your Side ran an exclusive story on that one camera still remaining in use.

"We saw University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt’s passionate plea on Facebook Live to turn off the final school zone safety camera, located in his district on Bailey Avenue, at the Buffalo Promise neighborhood site. After watching Council Member Wyatt’s plea, this final camera has been turned off. All other school zone safety cameras have already been turned off."

You can see Council Member Wyatt's video on the issue below.

Camera Gate

Posted by Rasheed NC Wyatt on Thursday, July 15, 2021

It was on Wednesday that Mayor Brown made an unusual offer to shut down the last of the city’s controversial school speed zone cameras.

Brown confirmed earlier 2 On Your Side reporting that one camera was still in operation and presumably still issuing tickets. The location is Bailey Avenue near Berkshire Avenue.

The mayor explained a nearby school requested the speed camera stay on to increase traffic safety in that area. “There’s still an active program. Children are in and out of school and families are dropping off and picking up children,” Brown said.

Along that stretch of Bailey is Edu-Kids, which does provide Pre-K educational programming.

The Bailey Avenue camera is in University District Council Member Rasheed Wyatt’s district. “All the cameras should be off,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt is one of the biggest critics of the speed zone cameras and was among six members of the Common Council to vote for their removal last month. But the wording of the Common Council’s legislation is interpreted differently by Wyatt and the mayor.

The ordinance amendment notes use of the cameras will “take effect immediately,” but it also says “this change shall take effect September 1.”

Mayor Brown believes the later date is correct, but while being interviewed for this story, he made this offer to 2 On Your Side, “If Council Member Wyatt sends us a letter or introduces a resolution we will immediately turn that camera off.”

When we shared this with the Council Member, Wyatt responded, “That’s insane, Steve, that’s not going to happen. Maybe we need to go to court. You’re not hurting me. You’re hurting people who continue to get tickets for a camera that shouldn’t be up.”