Should Syracuse City School transportation have more surveillance?

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you think Syracuse City School District transportation needs more surveillance, then now’s the time to voice your opinions.

The City of Syracuse is seeking community input on proposed surveillance technology for use in school transportation safety.

As a requirement of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s Executive Order No. 2, the proposed surveillance technology would include the use of automated speed and redlight enforcement in school zones and stop arm cameras on city school buses.

According to the City of Syracuse, this technology would include the following:

  • Capture images of vehicles in school zones that break speed limits, and/or fail to stop for red lights.
  • Cameras attached to stop sign arms on school buses would capture images of vehicles that fail to stop for buses loading and unloading students.
  • When a vehicle is observed speeding, failing to stop for red lights in school zones, or passing a school bus stop arm, an automated ticket–once verified by law enforcement–would be issued to the registered owner of the car.

Mayor Walsh’s Surveillance Technology Executive Order was signed in 2020, ensuring residents have input on proposed uses of surveillance technologies by the City of Syracuse.

If the community supports this executive order, it would put in place policies and procedures for oversight of how the city pays for such technology and ensure that surveillance tools are used in a safe and well-governed way.

According to the City of Syracuse, the DPW is considering the installation of these devices at up to 70 static locations around schools and on all 170 Syracuse City School District school buses.

If you want to have a say in this proposed surveillance technology, you have from Wednesday, Jan. 3 to Wednesday, Jan. 17 for the City’s Surveillance Technology Working Group to accept your comments.

Click here to submit a comment.

The City’s Surveillance Technology Working Group, appointed by Mayor Walsh, is managed by the Office of Analytics, Performance and Innovation and is made up of City of Syracuse staff, community advocates, and technology and ethics experts.

Questions regarding the review of surveillance technology can be directed here.

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