Continuing its pattern of taxing motorists, the Legislature approved the installation of 50 more cameras to catch motorists disobeying red lights. New York City already has 100 such cameras and they accounted for $26 million in fines between July 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009. The extra cameras should generated another $6 million in revenue for the City.
The New York Legislature is also expected to approve red light cameras for Yonkers, Buffalo, Rochester and Suffolk Counties. As reported last month, red light cameras were already approved for Nassau County. Previously, New York City was the only place where such devices were installed.
By the way, if anyone suggests that red light cameras are installed primarily to enhance traffic safety, listen to what Assemblyman David Gantt, the Transportation Committee Chairman, who previously blocked bills expanding the use of red light camera had to say. “People were coming to me and saying ‘We really need [money]'”.
I’m convinced red light cameras are a money play.
Got a ticket on Northern Blvd (9/14/11) driving with a mattress on my roof. No way I was speeding… Simply too dangerous in a 2000 Jeep! So, I pleaded not guilty, requested FOIL info, with the DOT acknowledgement letter, and got a 30 day adjournment. On 11/21/11 NY Finance dept ruled with a decision and order, additional penalty ($25) and threat to tow… while the DOT, two months after my request (01/06/11), finally replied stating they need another 30 business days 0(approx 2/21/12). I asked the Finance Appeals Board for a temporary reversal of their decision, and adjournment until March pending compliance to the FOIL request. I also mailed the $50 fine under duress. This is a scam!
What’s amazing is how one branch of our government fails to work with another branch, as to jeopardizes a person’s well being and property without consideration of the law, nor common sense. They are so busy chasing $50 Bills, in the meantime, no one cares about Jon Corzine missing $1.2 Billion of investors money. OMG!
the reacting time is about 1 second, in 2 seconds now car can be stopped (0 miles/hr).
the cars after the yellow light be turned on do not have a chance to stop on time! there is always a lot of money be made. the governments always could save a lot of money but they are not interested. one lane will have 2 traffic lights or more and so on!
Yellow lights should be, at least, 2 to 3 seconds. Any shorter is grounds for challenging the red light camera ticket.
I received a red light violation fine. The video on drivesafelyinnassau.com shows that I made a right hand turn on red without coming to a complete stop. There is no sign indicating no turn on red, but I’m curious if it is worth my time and effort to fight the fact that I did not actually “speed through” a red light. My blinker is clearly indicating a right hand turn, I did come to a partial stop, and as I was turning the light turned green. Also my speed was recorded at 13 mph. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I would just pay the ticket. A red light camera ticket carries 0 points and will not affect your auto insurance rates.
I would like to try that FOIL request, but that does not really get me out of the ticket. Also I must send in the ticket with any documentation and proof of my innocence to the City within 30 days. So if I file a FOIL, and the FOIL takes longer than 30 days, then they will tack on late fees to the ticket.
It is ridiculous, the yellow was not long enough for me to make the split second decision to stop…no one is that good…..I would have been too far into the intersection had I actually slammed on the brakes; and I still would have gotten a ticket for being inside the intersection….you can’t win.
Also, I found a plate spray that over-exposing photographs of your license plate….pretty interesting. Not that I run lights often, but I may have to start using this to combat these tickets.
You can plead not guilty and make your FOIL request. Often your court date won’t be scheduled until after you receive whatever documents that you requested. Even if your court date come up first, you can ask to re-schedule it.
Yellow lights generally should be, at least, 2 to 3 seconds. If it quicker than that based on timing it multiple times and taking an average, you can fight the ticket based on a defective traffic control signal. I would video your timing as evidence.
License plate spray is illegal in New York so I can’t recommend using it.
Just two words regarding red light cams; Paint Balls!
Citizen Kane, thanks for your thoughtful response with such valuable information.
Camera red light tickets carries 0 points and don’t appear on your driving record. They are much closer to a parking ticket than a moving violation.
By the way, in New York City, Department of Transportation regulations state that a yellow light should be 2 to 3 seconds.
1. There is a Federal Dept. of Transportation law that ALL yellow lights must have a minimum 3 second duration. This duration INCREASES with higher speed limits posted on the street where a red light and a camera is located, and also increases depending on the grade of the road. A traffic light on a steep hill road SHOULD have a longer yellow light than one on a level road given the same posted speed limit.
2. In New York City the city speed limit is 30 MPH and ALL yellow lights on level roads should have a MINIMUM 3 second duration.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN ALL RED LIGHT CAMERA LOCATIONS.
Perhaps this is due to a faulty timing mechanism, BUT MOST LIKELY the yellow lights have been rigged to a less than 3 sec. duration to cause more drivers to run thru a red light, and get their photo taken by the camera. The city makes A LOT of money that way along with the private contractor who installs and operates the camera.
3. Next time you get a red light camera fine in the mail, go to the intersection, use your cell phone’s stopwatch function and TIME THE YELLOW LIGHT. Do that about 5-10 times and average the results. ALL the timings, as well as their average, should be MORE than 3.0 seconds.
IF NOT, that’s an illegal yellow light and NYC is essentially ROBBING YOU.
4. There is a 100% chance that even if you document this and go in for a hearing YOU WILL STILL BE FOUND GUILTY AND HAVE TO PAY because the city will CLAIM that AT THE TIME the photo was taken the light was operating properly.
5. NOW if you REALLY want to defend yourself against an illegal yellow light, OR YOU SIMPLY WANT TO THROW A MONKEY WRENCH into the system: FILE A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW REQUEST – FOIL -with the New York City Dept. of Transportation requesting ALL maintenance records and light timing adjustments and benchmark tests and any other defect corrections done to that light for the period of time that you are interested in. The longer your request the more NYC DOT will have to dig and chances are you’ll get some data to help in your defense (an unusually high # of repairs in the X number of months before you got your photo taken, for instance). Now, IF there is a record that the light timings were adjusted soon after your photo was taken, you have a very good case of a defective light and possibly avoiding the fine.
NOW, IF EVERYONE WHO GOT A PHOTO AND A FINE DID THIS it would cost the city much more than the fine. Complying with LOTS OF FOIL requests is time consuming and requires a lot of manpower.
File your FOIL request with the:
New York City Dept. of Transportation
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041
6. This is really the only way to defend yourself against being robbed by the city and its red light camera contractors.
7. TRAFFIC ENGINEER studies have shown that increasing the yellow light duration by just half a second above its minimum causes a DRAMATIC DECREASE IN RED LIGHT RUNNING to the point in many cases of making the installation, maintenance, and operation of these cameras uneconomic.
A simple google search will provide a wealth of information on yellow light duration and its ILLEGAL manipulation by cities and contractors across the USA to entrap motorists and raise revenue.
RED LIGHT CAMERAS ARE REALLY A REVENUE SCAM CONSIDERING THAT IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT LENGTHENING THE YELLOW LIGHT DURATION DRAMATICALLY REDUCES RED LIGHT RUNNING AND IS THEREFORE MUCH SAFER FOR ALL INVOLVED.
WRITE TO YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR AND DEMAND A LAW INCREASING YELLOW LIGHT TIME DURATION. REVENUE SCAMS BY NEW YORK CITY AND OTHER CITIES WILL STOP THEN.