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Red-light cameras throughout NYC are bringing in $52 million, major cash from speedy city drivers

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Red-light cameras throughout NYC are bringing in $52 million, major cash from speedy city drivers

 

BY John Doyle

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

 

Monday, August 22nd 2011

 

"Lights, cameras, cash.

 

New York's driver nanny cams are working, generating more than $52 million in fines last year from unsuspecting motorists who blew through red lights while the cameras were rolling, records show.

 

There are now 150 red-light cameras scattered throughout the city, and the pressure is on in Albany to add 40 new overhead contraptions capable of measuring a driver's speed. The electronic info is then used to issue tickets - all without a cop.

 

"People who run red lights can kill people," said City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), chairman of the Council's Transportation Committee.

 

"These cameras go a long way towards making this a safer city."

 

Last year, the cameras generated 1,053,268 summonses, pumping as much as $52.7 million into the city's coffers.

 

That's up about $15.5 million - 29% - from 2009, when there were just 100 cameras citywide, according to Department of Transportation stats. This year's numbers aren't yet available, a DOT spokesman said.

 

Each $50 red-light summons is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, along with a crystal-clear photo of the license plate - and the car as it breezed through the intersection.

 

Michael Murphy, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, is a big believer in the cameras.

 

"When you are taking a 2-ton piece of machinery and driving around public streets, you have a responsibility to drive safely," Murphy said. "It's more than a matter of dollars and cents. It's a matter of life and death."

 

Red-light traffic cameras were first installed in New York City in 2007, generating nearly 950,000 violations that year, records show.

 

Only last year surpassed 2007 in the number of tickets issued via red-light cams.

 

That's to be expected, experts said.

 

When a camera is first installed there's a spike in tickets, but motorists soon wise up, one DOT official said. Drivers quickly learn where the cameras are along their daily route, and violations can plummet over time by as much as 60%, the official said.

 

Vacca sees this as a good problem.

 

"I hope we get to the point where these cameras do not raise revenue and there is compliance with red lights," he said. "Stop means stop."

 

The state Legislature approved a bill in 2009 to add an additional 50 cameras to the original 100. Community groups hoping to force drivers to slow down are among those now pressing Albany to approve a pending bill that would clear the way for 40 new speed cameras.

 

Some motorists are convinced the cams are about cash, not safety.

 

"This is just about money," truck driver Vishnuve Singh, 38, said about the camera at Houston St. and First Ave. on Manhattan's lower East Side.

 

"The city is in bad shape right now. They wouldn't be putting more and more [in] if they didn't think they could make some money."

 

 

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/08/22/2011-08-22_redlight_cameras_throughout_nyc_are_bringing_in_52_million_major_cash_from_speed.html

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There's one of these cameras under the Astoria Blvd Station on Astoria Blvd South headed towards LGA. The flash itself is pretty bright.

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As a driver, I know where most of the cameras are in my neighborhood and I find the most amusing one is on Ocean Pkwy and Church Ave right at the entrance to Prospect Exwy. I'll always see a person burn the light and get caught by the camera.

 

On the New York Post they were talking about trying out a speed trap camera to catch people doing over the city street limit of 30mph. Honestly that's a double edged sword. For one I would probably assume (including myself) everyone does NOT do 30 mph on any street unless there is mild traffic or heavy pedestrians. Even with the speed trap cameras I doubt people would still follow the law and just memorize where the speed trap cameras are and just not speed there. That's what most people in NY do with the red light cameras unless they really don't care and can afford the tickets.

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I don't think these lights do any good from a safety perspective. What if somebody's being tailgated and they slam on the brakes, the camera lights caused an accident instead of preventing one.

 

Plus, if an emergency vehicle comes down and needs people to move out of the way, a lot of them are afraid of a ticket and won't move, which again, causes a danger rather than preventing one.

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30mph lol. When I was still living in the Bronx I used to be doing 50 up and down Boston Rd when I could.

 

Red Light cameras are a pain in the ass. They are all over here in Jersey.

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There is one of those damn cameras by the X1 stop on 5th by 41st street. Those damn things are so annoying. :mad: They flash non-stop right in your eye and I get blinded trying to look for the express bus. :mad: They should move that damn thing somewhere else.

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Plus, if an emergency vehicle comes down and needs people to move out of the way, a lot of them are afraid of a ticket and won't move, which again, causes a danger rather than preventing one.

 

This actually happened to me before. I went to court to fight it and it was dismissed and I didn't have to pay a dime.

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When approaching an intersection, look at the ground right before the cross walk. If you see square shaped lines thats the sensor that activates the camera when you speed thru the light. If you go slow over the boxes the camera won't go off. It detects speed.

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They have a couple of duds as well. Some cameras detect you running the light, but don't mail a ticket, but the thing is that they rotate them so you don't know which ones are real and which ones are fake.

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When approaching an intersection, look at the ground right before the cross walk. If you see square shaped lines thats the sensor that activates the camera when you speed thru the light. If you go slow over the boxes the camera won't go off. It detects speed.

 

You know when most people drive and try to beat a yellow, they are not worried about the ground sensors. They are just worrying on making the light and not hitting anything or anyone at the same time. Plus most people would realize the box on the poll more often then a ground sensor.

 

Also, if you go slow the camera won't go off? I don't know which cameras you've encountered, but the lights I've seen would go off once the back wheels cross the crosswalk at whatever speed.

 

they got those stupid things in Nassau and Suffolk too.

 

I'm actually more scared of Nassau county troopers/police rather their damn cameras.

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You know when most people drive and try to beat a yellow, they are not worried about the ground sensors. They are just worrying on making the light and not hitting anything or anyone at the same time. Plus most people would realize the box on the poll more often then a ground sensor.

 

Also, if you go slow the camera won't go off? I don't know which cameras you've encountered, but the lights I've seen would go off once the back wheels cross the crosswalk at whatever speed.

 

 

 

I'm actually more scared of Nassau county troopers/police rather their damn cameras.

 

Nassau County cops arent bad, its the Village Police departments that are the tough ones

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Malverne cops, for example, just keep raiding parties and stopping people to see if their goddamned stickers are still valid.

 

Giant wastes of taxpayer money, seriously, just like the red-light cameras. The only good thing I've seen a red-light camera do is capture that person that ran the red at Hempstead Turnpike & Uniondale Avenue and managed to almost overturn an Orion VII NG and cause it to veer into a McDonald's.

Edited by Joel Up Front

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They have these cameras at 167 Street and Grand Concourse too. It sucks.

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Malverne cops, for example, just keep raiding parties and stopping people to see if their goddamned stickers are still valid.

 

Giant wastes of taxpayer money, seriously, just like the red-light cameras. The only good thing I've seen a red-light camera do is capture that person that ran the red at Hempstead Turnpike & Uniondale Avenue and managed to almost overturn an Orion VII NG and cause it to veer into a McDonald's.

 

I had a feeling Malverne cops were kinda nasty, that's why I never wanted to photo trains there. Their tinyass railroad parking lot has big signs saying PERMIT REQUIRED 7 days a week

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Westwood isn't any better. I find it hilarious that it has this pointless-ass shelter on the Lynbrook side of the station, which dates to the station's opening, while the Malverne side was only replaced last summer. Both sides still require permits from the respective villages the lots are in. Most of the station's users live just a short walk away from the station or have people waiting for the trains to roll in. I wonder why they leave the power on during the weekends, too, if there's no weekend service on that branch.

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Like the red light cam at Ocean and Church, they are terrible. All they do is force people to either speed up or hit their breaks in a guessing game. I would be fine with the cameras if they had a timer next to the traffic light the way a pedestrian crosswalk has the timers. Then drivers would have no excuse when the timer is on the final few seconds.

But to play 'gotcha' is just total bullsh-t.

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Like the red light cam at Ocean and Church, they are terrible. All they do is force people to either speed up or hit their breaks in a guessing game. I would be fine with the cameras if they had a timer next to the traffic light the way a pedestrian crosswalk has the timers. Then drivers would have no excuse when the timer is on the final few seconds.

But to play 'gotcha' is just total bullsh-t.

 

That is actually not a bad idea, a timer by the light would be nice in a way. Whenever I commute that intersection is very harsh, especially during rush hours.

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That's why if I have to drive in that area, I would rather avoid that intersection and stick with the local routes or 'parallel' roads to lead to the BQE-Gowanus. I don't want to take a chance on just missing the light and hitting the breaks or 'looking over my shoulder' to see if I made the light before the 'flash'.

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