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Suffolk Lawmaker Announces Bill To Suspend Red Light Camera Program

Jessica Opatich

Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta is calling for the suspension of the county’s red light camera program.

The program is designed to stop drivers from running red lights and causing accidents. But Trotta said Monday that the county’s recently released Red Light Camera Traffic Safety report revealed that accidents with injuries in his district have increased at intersections with the cameras.

"We need to get this right and clearly we don’t have it right," he said. "You can’t be putting cameras up and increasing the accidents by 100%. I mean, that’s just asking for trouble."

But the Fort Salonga Republican said he doubts the Democratic controlled county legislature will do away with the program, calling it "taxation by citation".

County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory disagrees. He said while there are bugs to work out, the program’s focus is on safety, not revenue.

"It’s absolutely not about money," he said. "But you’ve got to be responsible when you do things like this and I think the responsible way to look at a report like this is to study it further."

Revenue from red light cameras went from $5 million in 2013 to nearly $28 million in 2014.  According to the report, while rear-end collisions at camera locations increased 42-percent, accidents with injuries decreased four-percent countywide.

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