September 3, 2019 – Legislator Tom Cilmi, GOP Caucus Leader said today that his seven-member caucus will vote unanimously to end Suffolk’s controversial Red Light Camera program. The vote on legislation sponsored by County Executive Steve Bellone to extend the program for another five years is set to take place in Hauppauge on Wednesday, September 4.
Legislator Cilmi said, “The results speak for themselves: more than a thousand additional crashes at red light camera intersections involving thousands of drivers, all put at risk of injury or worse, all subjected to vehicle repair costs and increased insurance rates, with no reduction in fatalities at these intersections. Rather than taking photos and video at these intersections, pretending to make them safer, we should engineer these intersections to actually BE safer.”
Legislator Kevin McCaffrey said, “On Great East Neck Road in West Babylon, better known as “Scam Alley,” there are five red light camera intersections in a 1.2 mile stretch of road. Most of these intersections have shown a significant increase in accidents. There is no justification for this saturation of cameras when more affluent communities don’t have any cameras. Obviously, this has become more about generating revenue than about public safety.”
“This program takes money from Suffolk County motorists, and is NOT about public safety,” said Legislator Tom Muratore. “The majority of red light camera summonses are received by drivers who fail to make a complete stop at a right turn on red intersection. This program has also caused a serious increase in rear end accidents, which costs drivers increased premiums. Therefore, I will be voting NO on the extension of the red light camera program.”
“After reviewing the full report commissioned by the County which found a 60% increase in accidents at intersections having cameras, I believe this is a public safety threat and extending the program at this time would be dangerous to the public at large,” stated Legislator Steven J. Flotteron. “The original intent of this program was public safety but this report proves the opposite.”
Legislator Rudy Sunderman said, “Fifty percent of the red light cameras in the district I represent have an increase of motor vehicle accidents of approximately 150%. It is extremely alarming that the full body of the Legislature is not taking this safety concern of our residents into consideration.”
“The Red Light Camera Program is nothing more than the County Executive trying to balance the budget under the guise of public safety and given that accidents have increased 60 percent, the project is a public safety nightmare,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta. “This bill is a yes or no to sign the contract for renewal of the red light cameras. We have been told that we can work on issues once the contract is signed. We all know that all issues are defined upon contract signature, just look at the roughly 15 million we had to pay out when our County Executive decided to breach the signed contract at Ronkonkoma Rail Road Station for solar panels,” said Legislator Leslie Kennedy.