Students Head Back to School in NYC

It’s back to school more than one million kids in New York City.

Wednesday is the first day of class and also the beginning of the first full year for Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.  He took the job back in the spring and joined the mayor in greeting students when they arrived at P.S. 377 in Queens.

"I'm very excited.  I can't wait until they see our kids," one woman told WOR's Alice Stockton-Rossini.

Speed cameras have also been turned back on near 140 schools after going dark over the summer.  Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to reactivate the cameras after the State Senate left Albany over the summer without renewing the program.

“The numbers are astounding. In the school zones where we have the speed cameras, speeding violations are down by almost two-thirds – 63 percent reduction in speeding around our schools,” de Blasio said.

He said the speed cameras have also saved lives.  In areas where there are speed cameras, there are 55 percent fewer fatalities.

“So, to me it was a no brainer that we needed these speed cameras and the fact that we needed to go farther with them,” de Blasio said.

In addition to the 140 speed cameras already in existence, 150 additional cameras are being installed.  Parents at P.S. 377 hope their school will be getting one of the new cameras.

"There's no signs at all that says this is a school zone," one woman said.

The mayor also couldn't explain why the State Senate wouldn’t renew the program.

“I cannot understand any kind of politics that stands in the ways of protecting kids.  I cannot understand a political calculation that somehow puts partisan interests ahead of the needs of kids,” de Blasio said.

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