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Red Light Camera Fee Unconstitutional, NYS Supreme Court Judge Rules

Mel Evans

An administrative fee Suffolk County added to red light camera violations has been ruled unconstitutional.

A New York State Supreme Court judge says Suffolk County lacks the legal authority to charge an additional $30 fee on a $50 fine for drivers caught on camera trying to beat a red light at an intersection. 

The red light camera program is a state initiative, which means Suffolk County can’t charge more than other local governments in the program.

But the judge’s opinion will not stop the additional fees just yet. Suffolk County will be allowed to defend its position because the judge acknowledges a rollback of the program could have “serious financial implications for the county.”

Last year, the county renewed the program for another five years. It generates more than $20 million a year. The Legislature’s Republican minority called it a money grab.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.
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