Suffolk County lawmakers voted to extend the much-maligned red-light camera program through 2024.
Legislators voted 11-7 on Wednesday, Sept. 4 to extend the program for five more years. The vote came after hours of public comments - most of which were contentious - disparaging the cameras.
According to reports, red-light cameras may generate upwards of $20 million annually through the program, which has been in effect since 2010.
Some have criticized the program, calling it a money grab and citing an uptick in drivers, fearful of getting a ticket, stop short and get rear-ended at lights. More than 50 percent of the tickets issued were related to drivers making right-hand turns at red lights.
According to Suffolk County officials:
- Red-light running killed 676 people and injured an estimated 113,000 in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths were people other than the red light running drivers;
- Studies show that red light camera programs are effective in reducing crashes at intersections, especially right-angle crashes, which cause the most personal injury, and save lives;
- The issuance of citations by automated enforcement is a fair and objective way to remind drivers that they are required by law to stop at red lights, and that there are consequences for unsafe driving practices, like red-light running.
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