Traffic ticket surcharge possible on LI

September 25, 2008 3:58:19 PM PDT
No one likes getting a speeding ticket, but now drivers could have to dish out an extra 50 dollars in surcharge money if caught speeding on Long Island's state roads, which include the LIE and Sunrise Highway. The $50 surcharge would go to the counties to help offset the budget deficit. The proposal endorsed by Governor David Paterson has heavy support from the Suffolk legislator's presiding officer.

"I don't have sympathy for people who are driving drunk or speeding. It might make our highway safer," William Lindsay said.

County executive Steve Levy in a statement wrote, "These surcharges would generate approximately $10M for Suffolk, and $8M for Nassau County. This is a sensible way for the counties to generate funds."

His response comes as a surprise to some lawmakers since the county executive pulled 13 highway patrols from duty on the LIE and Sunrise Highway this summer, causing an uproar within the police department.

At the time, Levy said he did it because the primary function of the state police should be to patrol state roads and only after that responsibility is met will additional officers be assigned with or without surcharge money.

"I was disturbed with the county executive's response. Sounded like he was rejecting the offer," PBA President Jeff Frayler said.

He says the speeding ticket surcharge creates an opportunity, giving the county the green light to tax those who break the law and put its highway patrols back in place.

"It's not a benefit to them personally, but to residents of Suffolk County. It's an issue of public safety," he said.

The $50 surcharge must still pass the state legislature. The earliest it could be approved is January.

Click here for more New York and Tri-State News

Report a typo || Send a story idea || Send news photos/videos