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13Nov

Suffolk County Red Light Camera Program

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (74)

David - February 19, 2013 10:21 pm

Got caught twice (one week apart) in January for right turn on Red. I got lost on these signs and different rules on different intersections. I’ve been driving in the states in the South and in the Midwest and it’s OK to turn right on Red when cautions are exercised. Now, I’m scared of driving on the road in Long Island. If safety is of the utmost concerns of Suffolk County Authority, strictly implementing Red Light Camera Program might not be a good idea because driving on the road is all about real response/reaction in real situation and not simply the traffic rules on the paper (got rear-ended is a good example as many have mentioned in their comments). A warning notice should be sent out for the first time and Suffolk County Authority shouldn’t be just so eager to collect money from drivers/taxpayers. I felt got robbed of $100 within one week …..

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    Matthew Weiss - February 19, 2013 10:39 pm

    David,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with red light cameras. I don’t think you’re alone with your views.

    Matthew Weiss

Steve - August 22, 2012 12:16 am

I grew up in suffolk, and left 16 years ago because of this kind of brainless use of taxpayer funds. I sure am glad I moved my business out of there and started over….Suffolk county does not deserve a dime. Just got one of these violations at corner of Mark Tree road and eastbound 347. There is a no turn on red sign there…so , I looked around and no cars were heading into the direction I was turning into, so I did something thats very rare today and I (used my brain, which actually still works) and decided it was safe to turn even though a stupid sign with NO BRAINS was telling me not to use my brains. But thats pretty much suffolk county in a nutshell – do NOT use your BRAIN – WE ARE YOUR BRAIN. Incredibly, I survived, no one died, no one was hurt and life actually continued. Now lets say it went the other way, and I stayed put, and got rear – ended while pondering to use my brain or not…and I was seriously hurt. Where do you think Suffolk county would be for that one? I bet vacationing in the Carrabean…..cal this person, call that person – no one can figure out who to talk to to resolve your problem…what a joke.

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Agata - January 27, 2012 5:04 pm

o.k. This is bordering on stupid. There are so many cameras–none with signs that I’ve seen–that I almost had an accident looking for them. This is driver danger. I’m going to start writing letters.

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Chip - January 20, 2012 7:12 am

Sit at any intersection with a red light camera at any time of day and count how many times the lights flash, in what we suppose, is someone running a red light. Now times that by all cameras in Suffolk County and times that by how many times the light cycles in a day. Of course, the wee hours probably don’t see as many drivers, but you get the point. Now try to figure out how much money Suffolk County makes on a daily basis, based on the flashing lights times $50 a pop. How can our county be in financial trouble, with this unlimited source of income? Does it make my taxes go down? NO! Do these cameras make safer drivers? I don’t know, but after my ticket, I’m more likely to sit out the light and piss off the people behind me. And in doing so, I have had many near misses on being rear-ended. I paid it once, and only after my second notice, and left out the “late fee.”

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B Silverman - January 7, 2012 1:30 pm

The percentage of the late fee is absolutely absurd. The Feds passed a law last year limiting the percent late charge credit card companies can charge. This was enacted to “protect” the consumer and ensure that the “fees are fair”. I guess the government is can charge 50% late charge after a few days.. they must be exempt from “protecting” the consumer and being fair. I moved and my mail forwarding delayed the ticket enough to be charged the late fee. I just paid it and and the late fee.

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    Matthew Weiss - January 7, 2012 6:52 pm

    B Silverman,

    I have to agree. A 10% late fee is more reasonable.

    Matthew Weiss

    Steve - August 22, 2012 11:51 am

    Actually its against credit card rules and regulations in any merchant policy with any entity that accepts credit cards to be charging additional costs just because the customer uses a credit card. National grid electric and many gas stations in Suffolk county are in violation. Regretably it seems there are not enough agencies to enforce all these laws anymore, and the only solution they seem to believe will fix it all is to just pay higher costs. I wonder if they looked at the countrys credit rating lately? Regretably it looks like to me we are ripening up for another 911……keep pissing off people who are suppose to be watching this countries back and you are asking for it.

Trudee - January 1, 2012 11:45 am

I have received a Red Light Safety Program “CITATION ENCLOSED – DO NOT DISCARD,” envelope in my mail box at home. I have 4 relatives who work at various USPS positions and I am humiliated that some program is allowed to tell everyone in my town that I have a citation for one of my four registered vehicles BEFORE I EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT! My first question of course was what happened? I open it and find it is questionable about a complete red light stop at a very camera-to-street-moving-farther-away-angled intersection (454 @ Broadway E/B). I know we all complete stop for a second, look and then we go. We are all professional drivers and we are sometimes heavy footed – but we understand the danger and stop and look when making a right on red. I also know that camera timing is electrical and can be manipulated and fault to currant errors and I am reading this fine and looking at the video and becoming more ticked as I read. I am then faced with trying to find out which driver in my home is being blamed for this? We all drive home from the railroad using this intersection. Well, now I am really furious because the citation I am discovering, as I read it, has been circulating for eight (8) months without my knowledge???? Shouldn’t these people in Denver make notification immediate? What is this? I will pay it, but I want to know how I can fight the late notification and the fact that my privacy rights have been walked on with this CITATION ENCLOSED – DO NOT DISCARD red large lettering on the outside front of the envelope right above my name. Who gave these people in Denver the right to do this? and more importantly, with all the Long Islanders out of work – why are people in Denver Colorado overseeing our roads and drivers? Also, why is a company in Denver Colorado permitted to use the words Suffolk County in their name? I will check with everyone I know that works at USPS, but I wanted to know from you, too, for the most part, I am embarrassed that the red print is allowed on the outside of the envelope for all to see, even before I am aware of any kind of traffic law questions being made against me. Furthermore, obviously this Red Light Program is not working because in between the date of the citation and the date I received the citation, I was rear-ended in Nassau County while stopped at a red light and my daughter was hit broadside be a teenage driver in another incident. Proof positive – this program is just making some Suffolk County politician’s relative over there in Denver very wealthy. I am too old to be fooled and we are all very safe drivers with no moving violations against us, four of us drive for a living – Class A with additional endorsements. THIS WHOLE THING STINKS. We need someone to start keeping records and questioning all. P.S. I still don’t know which one of us is being charged for not stopping on red using the lead foot (and yes, some of us should be charged with excessive waste of gasoline and diesel, but not a “going through a red light fine”) but it is a stop, the wheels stop however with the lead foot and a far away angled camera image at night it could appear the car does not stop for a second. This whole thing just stinks.

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Deborah LoSardo - December 21, 2011 4:47 pm

Well, I think I just got ticketed. Iwas behind a huge truck that went through the light without slowing down. I didn’t even know the light was changing because I couldn’t see in front of the truck. I am so angry. When I realized I was going through, I tried to stop, but at that point it was more dangerous for me to stay where I was. Can I fight this? Is there video that shows what happened? I feel sick. I haven’t gotten a ticket in 12 years.

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    Matthew Weiss - December 21, 2011 5:54 pm

    Deborah,

    When you get your ticket, there will be a link to view a video of your offense. You can try and fight this ticket but they are really hard to win.

    Good luck.

    Matthew Weiss

Looking forward to contest - December 8, 2011 9:44 pm

I just got a citation as well. This is going to be pretty embarrassing for them, I hope.

They have a picture of a car running a red light with a blurry picture of a license plate they say is mine and want to charge me a $50.00 fine.

Three things to show their systems are broken:

1. I was working in Manhattan at that time of the citation and have the emails to prove it.

2. The car in the photo is not mine. I don’t even own a car. In fact I sold my car in 2008, over 3 and a half years ago. I haven’t even owned a vehicle since March 2008. Given that I don’t own a car, I wonder if they will accept that defense?

3. The EBN number they claim is mine is from license plates that were destroyed in 2008. Yes, I have the receipt of destruction from the NY DMV. Yes, I included that in my response back. Do you think evidence that the plates they claim are mine do not physically exist in this world would be ample proof that there was a mistake?

So my question is, if they can run my old plates and find my name, why do their records fail to show that the plates were destroyed? Should I be concerned as a tax payer that the system has a flaw in it? Should I report this?

Do you think they will call me to court to defend this, it is kind of embarrassing to their system. I am a lawyer, too, I think I have a good shot at this.

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    Matthew Weiss - December 8, 2011 10:53 pm

    Greg,

    It is possible that they run your old plates and find your name. I don’t know why the records are wrong but you should report it to DMV.

    Matthew Weiss

      Looking forward to contest - December 8, 2011 11:05 pm

      That’s a good idea. I’ll report it, however, I am not looking forward to going to Long Island from Manhattan to prove that I don’t have a car. Please note, I don’t have a car to even get there.

      I guess reimbursement is out of the question. A good way for them to make money is to just send the same blurry picture to thousands of random citizens upstate, the cost to drive to LI would be more than the fees, so most people would just pay it. I should suggest this to them and maybe get a consultancy fee, and maybe they will reimburse me then. Then maybe you guys can can spend that extra revenue to build an even more monolithic courthouse than the one in Islip.

kevin - December 2, 2011 10:22 pm

OK… at rte 109 and new hwy westbound. I got one for the red light.. the video clearly shows the amber light inoperable so lights were green to red, stating i was 2 seconds into the my right turn on red from a right turn lane. Also stated that my speed was 25 mph on a right turn in the rain in a 6000lb truck… nearly am inpossible feat with out wreckng…

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    Matthew Weiss - December 3, 2011 8:26 am

    Kevin,

    If the video shows no yellow light, then definitely plead not guilty. A defective traffic control signal is a good defense to this ticket.

    Matthew Weiss

Tony - November 22, 2011 8:49 am

When you come to a red light camera and the light is red, you have to come to a full stop to make a right hand turn?

There were no signs saying there is a traffic camera present or that there was no turn on red. There wasn’t even a light in lane three where I made the turn on red. Seems very deceptive to me.

Do I have a chance at fighting this?

Thanks

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    Matthew Weiss - November 22, 2011 11:31 am

    Tony,

    You have nothing to lose by fighting it. I’d take some photos of the intersection from various angles.

    Good luck.

    Matthew Weiss

Art - October 11, 2011 5:37 pm

I just received a summons and photograph at Great Neck Road and Rt 110. First there is no sign that the intersection is a Red Light Safety Intersection with cameras. Second the intersection allows right turns on red when the No Turn On Red sign is illuminated. The pictures of my car making a right turn on red does not include a picture of the illuminated sign. It shows a red light but does not show whether the sign was illuminated or not. I will plead not guilty and show up in court with pictures of the intersection evidencing why the camera photo’s are not indicative of a violation or not.

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    888redlight - October 13, 2011 11:34 pm

    Art,

    Good luck fighting this ticket. Keep in mind that you must come to a complete stop before making a right on red.

    Good luck.

    Matthew Weiss

      Art - October 17, 2011 8:29 am

      I believe I did. The intersection is quite confusing since for many years it was a No Turn on Red corner. Now with the sign which says No Turn When Illuminated it seems counter intuitive. The photographs show my tail lights illuminated and I assume I stopped to ponder the decision. If the camera was positioned to show the No Turn When Illuminated sign there would be conclusive proof one way or the other.

Jena - October 1, 2011 2:13 pm

I see and understand what your all saying. And yes most of you are getting punished for doing the right thing and others well we’re just guilty.

I ran the yellow light today on 25A heading to Miller Place Im not sure where I was on 25A just know I was heading home. I saw the light changed and I went for it. It must have changed while I was underneath it. I didnt feel like slamming my brakes on cuz I was going 60 in a 55. Needless to say it will be my 1st ticket and im pleased to know that I wont be getting points or it wont go to my insurance. Am I at fault YES I am do I like it no I dont. But I rather run a light then slam brakes on and cause and accident.
but it never hurts to ask all they can say is no so good luck to everyone out there fighting the tickets

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Benjamin - September 29, 2011 9:59 am

Do they give tickets for stopping being on the white line? I did it twice at the same location on lakeland and sunrise.

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    888redlight - September 29, 2011 7:11 pm

    Benjamin,

    You are supposed to stop before the line. If weren’t too far over the line, you may not receive a ticket.

    Good luck.

    Matthew Weiss

Jane Baker - September 27, 2011 6:20 pm

I received a package in the mail from my fiance’s family in Rochester, NY. In the mail was an overdue notice for failure to stop at a red light. The camera caught a car running a red light on July 15, 2011, but I have actual US Army orders proving that my fiance has been in Iraq since Feb 2011, what can I do?

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    888redlight - September 29, 2011 9:20 am

    Jane,

    If the plate on that car is registered to you or your fiance, then you are responsible. Otherwise, fight it.

    Matthew Weiss

Charles Osborne - September 5, 2011 12:18 pm

I agree with Mr. Bretana. I guess they need to pay for the cameras. I wonder what is the percentage of “real” red light infractions that the cameras catch.

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