Senator Foley's Red light cameras bill passes Transportation committee, moves towards becoming law

Brian X. Foley

April 07, 2009

Legislation would allow Suffolk County to install cameras at traffic lights, increasing safety and generating revenue

Albany, NY – The New York State Senate Transportation Committee approved new legislation that allows Suffolk County to install cameras at traffic signals, deterring and prosecuting drivers who illegally drive through red lights. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point), will increase road safety and prevent injuries and deaths throughout Suffolk County.

"Driving through red lights is not only illegal," said Foley, who serves on the Senate Transportation Committee, "it’s a serious safety risk. Every year, drivers who recklessly drive through red lights cause injuries and death. This legislation aims to deter drivers from endangering themselves and others on the road. It also allows Suffolk County to hold offenders accountable."

Under the legislation, Suffolk County will be allowed to install up to 50 cameras at intersections throughout the county and fine drivers who drive through red lights. The county will generate revenue from fines paid by offenders.

"The passage of this legislation in the Senate Transportation was a significant hurdle to clear, and Suffolk County appreciates the efforts of Senator Foley in moving this bill onto the floor of the State Legislature," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. "Ultimately, this measure will provide us with safer streets, while providing needed revenue to the county."

"Drivers that run red lights put themselves, as well as innocent passengers, drivers and pedestrians at risk," said Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington (D – Medford), who has introduced a similar version of the bill in the Assembly. "I have been fighting for this legislation for the past eight years and now Suffolk County will finally be able to implement this program. It will make the roads safer by ticketing violators and/or deterring would-be offenders simply by having the cameras at intersections where red light running has been a significant problem."

"After so many years of Championing this issue, I am glad that Senator Foley was able to help it pass," said Suffolk County Legislature’s Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay (D – Holbrook). "This is a significant step in making our roads safer in Suffolk County, I hope this bill becomes law."

The legislation(S3748) will also prevent drivers with three or more outstanding red light violations from applying for or renewing their vehicle’s registration. It will be started as a pilot program in Suffolk County with the county charging violators up to $50 (surcharges and other fees not included) in fines per each violation.

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