Red Light Camera Outrage

Red Light Camera Outrage

A woman from East Norwich was shocked when she received over $1,000 worth of traffic tickets in the mail for failing to stop at a red light. The resident had never gotten a ticket before and she doesn’t remember not stopping at the intersection cited on the violation.

Another Nassau County man received 20 tickets all at once for violating the same red light camera in East Norwich; a camera he didn’t even know existed nor did he believe he had broken the law at.


Nassau Residents Have Been Charged Thousands in Red Light Fines From One Intersection!

A recent article published by Eyewitness News ABC7 reports residents in East Norwich are fuming at the installation of a new red light camera on Northern Boulevard and Route 106. Drivers continue to receive ticket after ticket in the mail for violating this light, even though most don’t remember breaking any laws. Some drivers are even receiving violations as many as 30 days past the date their initial violation occurred, followed but numerous other tickets shortly after for the same violation. Why are drivers getting so many tickets at this traffic light?


Right-Hand Turns Gone Wrong

All the tickets issued thus far at the intersection in question were related to right-hand turns. It’s legal to turn right on red at this location, however, according to the tickets, drivers are doing it ‘wrong’. When drivers approach the traffic light, they are typically expected to stop at the white line. When the camera picks up that a vehicle does not stop at the white line, they issue a violation to the driver for running the light.

What’s rubbing residents the wrong way, aside from the obscene fines, is the manner in which the intersection is designed. The white line on Northern Boulevard turning onto Route 106 is 30-feet away from the corner where drivers have a safe visual of oncoming traffic. So instead of drivers stopping once at the line and again 30-feet ahead, drivers are rolling over the white line to stop once before turning right. The camera doesn’t pick up the second stop, assuming the cars are rolling right through the red light completely.


Push To Forgive Violations

Residents are less than thrilled with the violations from this red light camera, especially when they don’t arrive in the mail until a month later, and by then in abundance. Legislator Joshua Lafazan reported in the ABC7 article that he receives calls every day complaining about this aggravating light, and he’s not surprised. In his interview, Lafazan states, “If we’re going to penalize you nine, ten, eleven times when you didn’t know you needed to remediate your behavior, then shame on us.”

Unfortunately, getting these violations forgiven is not as easy as complaining to the county. This particular red light camera is controlled by the state of New York and they don’t seem to be concerned. A spokesperson for the state agreed with the placement of the light, hopeful in its ability to encourage drivers to approach the intersection more carefully. However, most residents believe it’s unreasonable to expect drivers to alter their driving habits simply by handing out hefty fines, particularly when residents aren’t aware they are doing anything wrong until they are thousands of dollars deep in violations.


How Red Light Cameras Work

Red light cameras operate solely upon prediction, according to an article released by Endurance. Because these cameras are meant to catch violators who run red lights, the footage must begin recording prior to the incident to catch the driver in the act.

Here are the three qualifications vehicles are supposed to meet before a violation is issued by a traffic camera:

  1. Vehicles approach an interaction when the traffic light is red.
  2. Vehicles are going above a certain speed upon approaching, triggering the camera footage to start.
  3. Vehicles continue to pass through the traffic light, resulting in the camera taking a picture of the license plate that results in a ticket.

In the case of the red light cameras in East Norwich, the camera is recording and ticketing every vehicle who does not make a complete stop at the white line, snapping a shot of their license plate the moment they roll over it. But the technology is not picking up the drivers stopping before they make a right-hand turn, falsely accusing drivers of running through red lights completely when actuality they are stopping a few feet ahead of the line.


Opposing Red Light Cameras

This is not the first time traffic cameras have been a problem in Nassau County.  Just last October, talk about reinstating troublesome speed cameras that failed miserably in 2014 caused a large backlash from the public. Residents were in an uproar about how the county was only out for extra revenue, and the recent red light camera debacle has not changed the public’s opinion.

Even national organizations are beginning to question the effectiveness of traffic camera systems. The National Motorists Association (NMA) is a firm opposer of red light cameras. In an article titled Objection to Red Light Cameras, NMA highlights a number of reasons why states should stop the counterproductive use of traffic-control devices, some including:

  • False perception of safety: NMA claims there is no verification that proves photo enforcement devices improve safety on the roads or reduce accidents.
  • No witnesses: With traffic-cameras, there is only one explanation for the violation and no witnesses to prove otherwise what could have really happened.
  • Inadequate notifications: Just like the residents of East Norwich, NMA doesn’t believe delayed violations have any effect on the driving behaviors of residents, nor is it fair.
  • No decrease in accidents: NMA believes regardless of whether the cameras are present at intersections, they are not a determining factor in whether accidents are prevented.
  • Little impact: Mailed violations and photo enhancements will not stop an aggressive driver from driving recklessly, particularly if the driver is fleeing the scene of a crime or not from the area where the traffic ticket was issued.


Finding Red Light Cameras on Long Island

You may not have an immediate impact on whether or not a red light camera is taken down or relocated, but at least you can be prepared to know where they are. This map will show you the placement of all red light cameras on Long Island so you can try to avoid them or be more cautious around these particular intersections.  

If you or someone you know has been injured in a traffic accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need a winning team that will fight for you. Call our winning legal team, Siler & Ingber, at 1-877-718-6079


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