Back in December of 2014, Nassau County shut down a controversial speed camera program set in place to fine drivers speeding through school zones. The program was deemed “unfair” by Long Island residents, who racked up over $30 million in revenue for the country since the program’s implementation in June 2014.
But almost three years after it’s repeal, county legislation is considering bringing back the troublesome camera program, causing Nassau Country residents to pose the question- What are they thinking?!
Initial Goal of the Speed Program
When the speed cameras were first installed around June 2014, the main goal was to increase safety for students by decreasing speeding in school zones. The cameras were meant to ticket drivers going more than 10mph over the speed limit during listed school hours (plus one hour before and after), as well as during school events. The general idea was to encourage citizens to slow down by issuing strict penalties for speeding, in hopes to keep child pedestrians safe from possible vehicle accidents.
Past Issues With The Cameras
The cameras started to receive thousands of complaints from residents by early August. Some of the heaviest criticism was directed towards the malfunctions in the system, allowing for tickets to be issued:
- During non-school hours (weekends and summer recess)
- Well before/after listed school hours
- When no speed signs were present notifying a speed limit change
Residents also complained there was insufficient notice of the cameras going into effect, catching most of the public off guard when receiving an automatic ticket in the mail.
Final Decision To Close The Program
In attempts to reconcile the error in the speed system, county officials deactivated the cameras for the summer months and forgave $2.4 million in ticket fines accumulated throughout the period. However, after reactivating the cameras when school began in September, residents remained outraged by the repeat of unjustified tickets that began flooding their mailboxes once again.
Citizens viewed the cameras as a method of extorting money from the public and not as a protective method to decrease speeding in school zones. After only four more months of operation, the speed camera program was shut down in December for what residents thought was for good.
Reasons For a Camera Comeback
When interviewing with Newsday this November, County Executive-elect Laura Curran was not willing to rule out reinstating the speed camera program as a method of gaining revenue for the Nassau County budget deficit. Though refusing to interview or confirm the return of the speed cameras, Curran issued a statement addressing…
“…responsible budgeting and ensuring every single dime of taxpayer money is spent on real services residents expect and deserve.”
NIFA county chairmen, Adam Barksy, also expressed support in bringing back the speed camera program, but not without a plan. Barksy believes the program could be beneficial if the previous concerns were corrected before reinstating the cameras in the school zones.
The residents of Nassau County are not so easily convinced. The idea of fighting more incorrect speeding tickets and supplying the country with the funding needed to fill a hole in the budget is not a task they wish to take on. Though some parents believe money should not be a factor when it comes to the safety of their children, most residents believe there are better methods of reducing school zone speeding than the speed camera program causing quite the mess in 2014.
Personal injury attorneys at Siler & Ingber, LLP, are dedicated to supporting Long Island families in the case of unfortunate injuries due to negligent drivers. For a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options, call us at 1-877-718-6079 or enter your information into the online contact form at the bottom of the page today.
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