Suffolk County dismisses almost all backlogged school bus camera tickets after court ruling

Chanteé Lans Image
Friday, June 21, 2024
Suffolk junks almost all backlogged school bus camera tickets
Chantee Lans has the details on the traffic tickets being thrown out in Suffolk County.

SMITHTOWN, Long Island (WABC) -- Suffolk County is dismissing almost all of the 9,000 backlogged traffic tickets obtained from school-bus cameras following a court ruling that challenged the program.

The program, in which cameras are attached to stop signs on school buses, was designed to protect children, but now, 90 percent of the tickets on backlog have been ripped up. Suffolk County officials said the county has lost nearly $2 million as a result of the dismissed tickets one critic called a "money grab."

The decision comes after a state appellate court ruled in favor of a Suffolk driver who challenged the process.

"I'm sure when other people got these tickets, they were just as shocked as I was," said Christopher Fevola, who challenged the ticket program.

Fevola had both his tickets dismissed. The first one was for $250, and the second was $275.

"The first one my view is just obstructed," said Fevola. "I couldn't see the bus at all. And then the second one, I was on the opposite side of traffic. It's four lanes of traffic. I didn't think I was doing anything wrong."

Both tickets were handed out to Fevola at the same school bus stop on Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown. Suffolk officials acknowledged nearly 3,000 of the 8,000 dismissed citations dismissed happened at that stop.

"The bus pulls in," said Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta, who is no fan of the program. "It parks two wheels in the curb cut. The arm goes out, and every car crossing on the other side of the road gets a ticket when they pass by. You see how this cars are moving. How are they going to stop, no kids are crossing the road."

Trotta acknowledged that the stop has become a "money grab" for the county. Drivers and business owners around that area also happy with the news.

"I've seen one or two accidents," said Bobby Dalke, owner of Bobby's One Stop Auto Shop. "The last one was a young lady stopped because of the school bus and a Mustang didn't realize she was stopping, slammed the brakes on and plowed right in the back of her."

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