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Suffolk County removes $30 red light camera admin fee

This red light camera is at the intersection of 6th Avenue, Speer Boulevard and Lincoln Street in Denver. A new study finds that deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year-high.
Helen H. Richardson
Denver Post via Getty Images
This red light camera is at an intersection.

The Suffolk County legislature has voted to repeal a $30 administrative fee associated with red light camera violations.

The fee is levied on top of a $50 fine.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, R-Smithtown, sponsored the bill.

“What happened was, the Democrats didn’t want to raise the citizens of Suffolk County’s taxes,” Trotta said. “So what did they do? They hit you with fees. And it turns out these fees, which we’ve said all along, were illegal. That’s not just us saying it, the courts have said it. So this rights a wrong.”

Presiding legislative officer Kevin McCaffrey, R-Lindenhurst, said majority Democrats used the fee to raise revenue for the county, as a way to avoid raising taxes.

“This red light camera program is something that was put in place and has turned into a boondoggle,” McCaffrey said. “Ask anybody that has been the victim of an illegal or unsuspecting camera ticket.”

A state Supreme Court ruled the fee unconstitutional in 2020.

Suffolk County has appealed the ruling. Some Democrats warn that repealing the fee signals acknowledgment by the county that the fee was unconstitutional.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.