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County Lawmakers Move One Step Closer To Approving Red Light Cameras

In 2016, New Rochelle officials installed multiple red light cameras throughout the city's busiest intersections in an effort to improve motorist safety. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
In Yonkers, Park Hill residents were outraged when private contractors cut down parts of a Rumsey Road tree to make way for a red light camera in 2015. Photo Credit: Daily Voice file

For careless or impatient motorists, racing through yellow or red traffic lights may be reduced throughout Westchester.

At a special meeting on Monday, June 11, the county Board of Legislators, by a 16-0 vote, approved a measure asking New York state to give the county permission to consider passing a local law to allow red light cameras at county intersections.

“The measure was passed in order to get it into the hands of state legislators quickly, because the state legislative session is ending," said county Board Chairman Ben Boykin, D-Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains. "But this does not mean that the county is on the verge of installing red light cameras."

If the state approves the county's request, the Board would still need to draft and vote on a new local law authorizing the cameras, a process that would involve public input and further legislative debate.

“Before any program actually moves forward, the Board will examine all issues regarding any specific proposal for implementation in cooperation with the relevant county agencies and departments and with the County Executive’s office,” Boykin said.

“That means looking at statistics on the impact of red light cameras on safety and on changing driver behavior, as well as looking at where any such cameras would go, before deciding if red light cameras are a good idea,” he said.

The Board also said it would examine costs and potential revenue as well as  lessons learned by the cities of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Yonkers -- which already have red light cameras in place.

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