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Readers React: Stop the Push for More Red Light Cameras

Suffolk County's proposal to expand the Red Light Safety Program with more cameras not popular with residents.

A Suffolk County proposal to expand its Red Light Safety Program in the Town of Smithtown is being met with resistance by residents. 

Smithtown officials have decided to let the county conduct its traffic study, but is unsure if will throw the brakes on efforts to install new red light cameras at an additional 7 intersections in town.

Alongside with Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, residents found themselves second guessing what the purpose of red light cameras are other than to raise revenue. 

"What a distasteful way to try to make money off people," commented Ray Fischer on Smithtown Patch's Facebook page

Others questioned if there could be a more efficient way to improve safety on local roadways. 

"Most traffic studies show that just increasing the yellow light time reduces the amount of red light running, but that does not generate money. In many places with the cameras, they have been caught reducing yellow light times and thus giving out more tickets," wrote Steve. 

Patch reader Rob Carey dismissed those worried a possible increasing number of car accidents at red light camera intersections, because of drivers looking to avoid a ticket.

"If people slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you as you slow down when a light turns yellow, then both you and the driver behind you were driving in excess of the speed limit. If you drove at the posted speed limit, the person behind you would have to do the same, and then you would not be in danger of being rear-ended when you slow down for a yellow light," Carey said. 

However, other readers were promoting ways to beat the system. 

"Easiest way to beat this system is to get yourself a plastic license plate cover for the rear plate on your car. The flash of the camera reflects in the cover & the camera can't read it. The more dirt & dust builds up on it, the better it reflects the flash," wrote commenter John K Massaro. 

As other Patch readers warned, it's illegal Under New York State Law 402-b to put a plastic or glass cover over your license plate or use anything to conceals or obstructs a vehicle's license plate. 

We have to ask, how do you feel about the possibility of more red light cameras? Do you think they serve as a deterrent to running a light, and if so, what intersections need cameras?

Or is the program another way for the county to make money? 
Tell us in the comments below.  

Mar February 02, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I more than Totally Agree
Mar February 02, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I was making a right turn on Jeriche Tpke & Townline Road, the corner is a right on red, I've been making this turn for 20 years. Well I received a ticket email for $50, what a scam. And like the other person said, no one has time to go to court, it's what they're counting on. Doesn't Suffolk County get enough in taxes from us!
John Gruber February 02, 2013 at 03:49 PM
you don't have to be speeding to be rear ended braking for the light
We Heart Long Island February 02, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Do you know that red-light cameras have been in use around the world since the 1960's? The evidence is in. They don't cause accidents.
We Heart Long Island February 02, 2013 at 04:48 PM
There is a sign posted before every intersection that has a camera. I've been stopping for red-lights since the 70's so I don't care where they are.
We Heart Long Island February 02, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Sounds like you changed lanes in the intersection, also a no-no.
Aidan February 02, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Most all-way stop signs are placed to pacify residents at intersections that do not meet the requirements. All-way stop signs are for intersections where the side street has 200 vehicles per hor for 8 hours. None of the stop signs on Lake Ave qualify, and therefore should be removed. Improperly placed stop signs are seldom obeyed because there is no real need to the main road to stop.
Aidan February 02, 2013 at 05:33 PM
There should be a public vote on the issue and let the people decide. If it is voted to remove them, then they should not be used.
We Heart Long Island February 02, 2013 at 05:47 PM
There was a public vote. Elected officials are chosen by the people. They then make decisions on behalf of the people. If you wanted a public vote for everything that is decided, nothing would get done.
Lawrence Kelly February 02, 2013 at 06:06 PM
My problem with these cameras when they showed up was that they did not seem to be located at especially dangerous intersections. Also, it did seem that the Amber warning light times were reduced. Later, I found out that, apparently, the right on red law had a 7 second wait time requirement. People were stopping, yielding, making the turn and getting tickets because 7 seconds had not elapsed. I'm all for safety, but this seems like a scam to me. Is there any data from an independant organization documenting a real reduction in intersection accidents from this technology???
We Heart Long Island February 02, 2013 at 07:41 PM
There is no such thing as a required 7 second wait time. You can read the NYS penal law. Red lights call for a stop. No forward motion. That's it.
Chris Hollentach February 02, 2013 at 07:47 PM
What I hate most about these cameras are the erroneous flashes. Has anyone ever been traveling on the LIE, especially at night and seen a "flash" from your right side that distracted you for a moment? The flast seems like it is pointed up at the highway rather than down on the street intersection. Further, many times I have been at a red light camera intersection and the flash goes off for no reason. No other cars are around and I have been sitting still for at least 30 seconds. They need to fine tune the ones they have up before they think about adding more.
Nick DePasquale February 02, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Need more money????????????????? Next step: Install speed cameras on the highway, over 55mph BAM!!! TICKET, POINT!!! Install STOP SIGN cameras, not a complete stop, BAMMM!! TICKET!!! I'm sure I can think up more creative ideas for the state to make money, but I'm just as lazy as them right now on this wonderful Saturday.
John K Massaro February 03, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Digital speed limit signs that an officer can control remotely from inside his car. Ince a car passes the sign, the cop can change the speed limit to suit his needs & write a summons accordingly. Perhaps I shouldn't give them any ideas...
ewok February 03, 2013 at 06:33 AM
Original states with cameras are slowly stopping the project. Their studies show that red light cameras do not prevent less accidents on a significant level as to when they didn't have them. also cameras only take pics right after the light turns. I accidently was at a red light camera intersection, and saw to my left the traffic in the turning lane going and went right through a major intersection straight thinking the light turned, thank god i didn't hit anyone, but since it was so long after the the light had changed i didn't even get fined, so therefore the camera system to prevent accidents would of failed. Its just another way to bring in money to broke counties and states
knee jerk February 03, 2013 at 02:53 PM
The first one you can ticket is yourself "Deputy Fed UP 1!". With all the "counting" you are doing you must surely be as distracted as any of the drivers you are "watching and counting". Its always the other guy, never you. I'm sure you have a baseball bat under your seat just in case some "nutjob" tries to screw with you.
Stephen February 03, 2013 at 02:55 PM
I do wonder how many of these pro RLC comments might be from the scamera vendor??? ONE ATS EMPLOYEE WAS BUSTED DOING THIS: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110525/BLOG48/705259809 Quote: "Kroske is vice president of business development at American Traffic Solutions, Inc. The Arizona company said Kroske was indefinitely suspended http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110518/BLOG48/705189786 after we wrote about him http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110517/BLOG48/705179793 last week, exposing him as "W Howard" a big backer of traffic cameras in Lynnwood, which contracts with ATS for the service. On Heraldnet, Kroske never revealed his connection to ATS but in his comments claimed he lived in Lynnwood, or maybe Everett. He urged people in Monroe not to act like "backwoods" Mukilteo and seek anti-camera initiatives like those being sought by Tim Eyman." www.motorists.org www.banthecams.org Camerafraud on Facebook.
Stephen February 03, 2013 at 02:56 PM
NOTE: Kroske still worked for ATS A YEAR LATER AFTER HIS SUPPOSED FIRING! http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/38/3849.asp Quote: "Kroske was also found to have posed as a Mukilteo resident in online posts he made to generate the appearance of public support for the use of automated ticketing machines. ATS insisted at the time that Kroske had been fired. Emails obtained from the city of Murrieta, California suggest otherwise. As first reported by the Riverside Press Enterprise, Kroske was still conducting business using his ATS email account, Bill.Kroske@atsol.com , in March and April of this year."
knee jerk February 03, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Going thru a red light long after it has changed is not currently in the systems program. They will be adding an narcolepsy program for drivers such as yourself which includes a ticket along with eye and sleep apnea exam in the near future.You can avoid the ticket and just sign up for the program before your next "incident".
knee jerk February 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I would think another reason for red light cameras would be to free police from hiding in side streets at these intersections, writing tickets, and get them out on the roads to enforce other moving violations.Another, better, idea might be putting these cameras in front of donut shops and really get the police out on the roads instead.
ewok February 03, 2013 at 05:02 PM
knee jerk, i don't know why you are soo angry you have to put others down, but i hope you find whatever your missing in your life. People make mistakes. If you find happiness in being a jerk to other people i really feel bad for you. You can respond to this all you want i will not be commenting any further with you. so if it makes you happy respond back get the last word insult me, show your colors, but try to have a nice day :)
FED UP 1 ! February 03, 2013 at 05:09 PM
@ "Jerk" I mean Knee Jerk.... Hopefully you are not one of these people texting or on your phone, that I see as I am scanning the road around me. Watching as these distracted drivers veer into my lane! The cops should key in these dangerous drivers and those tickets are as much as $250.00,from what I hear!!! Maybe a defensive driving class should be in your future. If you are not one of these people,I accept your apology and apologize for jumping to conclusions! I remain Fed Up 1
knee jerk February 04, 2013 at 02:14 PM
No FED UP 1!, I do not even own a cell phone. I carry a spare tire (w/air) and a working jack in my car instead.I'd like to see more laws passed to protect me from your cell phone and cell phone tower emmissions. I am starting to hear voices in my head which get louder near cell phone towers. I think you should apologize for risking my long term health with all of your emmissions.
FED UP 1 ! February 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM
@ knee jerk "Live and be well" I hope you can read between the lines!
John Gruber February 04, 2013 at 05:34 PM
We Heart, this is simply not true. there may be signs at every intersection, but not on every corner of the intersection, there me be a sign for people going East-West, but not for people going West-East or North-South. I know this because I was ALMOST a victim (and by victim, I don't mean I tried to run it, I mean I just saw a flash at the intersection and had to jerk on my brakes because I would have gone SLIGHTLY over the line. Whether they purposely do this or just haven't gotten to installing it at all corners since they made it law there had to be a sign I don't know...
John Gruber February 04, 2013 at 05:37 PM
actually there is, how do you think it determines what a "stop" is? when a camera goes from green to red and you're trying to make a right on red, the cameras will require you to wait a certain time or it will assume you didn't come to a stop
We Heart Long Island February 04, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Yes it is true. Every approach to a traffic light under camera surveillance has a sign before the intersection. If there is no camera covering the west-east drivers, there will not be a sign.
We Heart Long Island February 04, 2013 at 06:25 PM
When there is no more forward motion the car is stopped. The cameras, which use video, know exactly when a car is stopped. There is no "seconds" associated with the law. If you believe there is, please provide a link.
John Gruber February 04, 2013 at 06:40 PM
How do you think it "knows" when a car is stopped? By determining the car doesn't move for a shot period of TIME. If you come to a full stop quickly then make the right on red I have personally seen the flash go off. There is a grace period after the light turns red that you have to wait so the camera "knows" you have stopped. To quick of a stop will cause you to get a ticket
We Heart Long Island February 04, 2013 at 09:20 PM
The flash going off does not mean a ticket is being issued. The flash can go off when there are no cars present just to calibrate itself. As I have posted before, they have been around since the 60's. If they didn't work correctly they would not still be in use. Ignore them and drive the way you did before cameras. It shouldn't be any different.

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