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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.  

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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