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Red light cameras coming to Nassau County

May 18, 2009 3:34:03 PM PDT
It has been in the works for several years because the county has been waiting on the state for approval.

As of today it is officially legal, and the process to get these cameras up and running begins now.

Watch as the light goes from green to yellow, alerting speedy drivers its time to slow down. Even after the light turns red, a car still goes through.

It happens all over usually when police aren't looking, but as of this fall he or she will get a ticket anyway. Surveillance cameras will be installed at 50 of the busiest intersections in Nassau County.

"It's based on statistics. It is based on accidents and fatalities and we put the cameras there first," said Legislator Joe Scannell, chairman of the Public Safety Committee.

Starting this fall, cameras will be perched above the lights at busy intersections such as Old Country and Glen Cove Roads in Carle Place. If you don't stop for the red light, the camera snaps a picture, captures your plate information and then a fine is issued to the address on the registration. Drivers who travel around New York City know the drill since it is already in place there.

"I'm a physician. I was a few minutes late. I had to be somewhere at 8 o'clock. It turns red and you get a 50 dollar ticket in the mail," Dr. Vadim Roytenberg said.

Critics say the red light cameras will not prevent accidents at dangerous intersections, but possibly cause more with paranoid drivers making abrupt stops at yellow lights.

Others say it's not about safety, just a way for the county to make money

"It's hard for us taxi drivers sometimes. You go through a light by accident. We don't have the money for it," Rafael Harvey said.

Nassau County leaders say it is about safety and money at this point.

The tickets from the cameras are expected to generate 4-million dollars of revenue a year to Nassau County. Right now, the county is facing a 130-million dollar budget gap.


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