Nassau County Launches Speed Camera Program

Author Note:  Effective December 16, 2014, this program has been repealed in Nassau County.  Any speed camera tickets issued before this date still must be paid.

Last week, Nassau County started installing speed cameras within local school zones.  The first three schools to receive these devices are Plainedge Middle School in Bethpage, Dutch Lane Elementary in Hicksville and Abbey Lane School in Levittown.  All three schools (which are open for summer school), each received a “mobile unit” — an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine.

In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will generate an estimated $25+ million each year.

By law, the cameras can only operate during public school hours (plus an hour before and after school) along with a half-hour before, during and after school events.  Each violation of 10 mph or more over the posted speed limit will carry a $50 fine, and there will be a $25 penalty for failure to pay (meaning a grace is given to speeders between 1 and 9 mph over the limit).

But that is not the only bad news.  Suffolk County will be installing 69 speed cameras near some of its grade schools in 2015.

Update:  Nassau County is forgiving $2.4 million in speed camera fines issued in July/August 2014. County Executive Edward Mangano says there were problems with the cameras installed at six school locations.  He told Newsday that five cameras issued tickets on days when school was not in session. Cameras at a sixth location began operating prematurely.  

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26 Comments. Leave new

  • ARTHUR RITHOLTZ
    December 3, 2014 11:14 am

    I have resided In Nassau county over 60 years and have received 1 speeding ticket in all that time up until about 2 months ago….in these 2 months I have been victimized by getting 3 tickets in this short time by these school -speed cameras… doesn’t that seem a bit incongruous to say the least? instead of putting up these miniscule signs warning the unwary driver that we are about to enter a speed zone where a school is located,why doesn’t the county so concerned about child safety,install flashing amber lights to alert the driver , who might be thinking of a lost job or worse, a death In the family or even something almost equally disturbing,so that he would be made suddenly conscious that he has to slow down….if children are the major concern, then do it riight by making it more obvious than it is at present by jolting the driver to attention..instead of preening about the 25 million dollars in revenue that the county will now profit by, I think it behooves mr. mangano to worry more about the kids and then also making his constituents happy…otherwise,perhaps the democrats could come up with a better plan to raise needed revenues!!

    Reply
    • Arthur,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have good news, however. Starting Monday, December 8th, the enforcement hours of school speed zone cameras will be reduced to just 4 hours (7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m) on school days. Currently, they are 11 hours.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Good Morning.

    I have a court date in February 2015. I wish we could vote them out like in many other states. This is all about making money.

    Isnt this a violation of your Sixth Amendment right as I’m not allowed to face my accuser? Does the Constitution still exist in New York, I dont know how camera tickets are legal. Also, a photo cannot be used to prove the speed camera was properly operating.

    Reply
    • Jose,

      Because camera tickets cannot affect your driver’s license (they’re are akin to parking tickets), certain constitutional protections are not afforded to you.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Corrupt government. I was issued a parking ticket because I simply didn’t park my car head in and they were too lazy to go around and check to see if I had a parking permit. Now this. I was issued 3 tickets by Merrick Rd by Lynbrook North Middle School. No signs anywhere, no warning .. got 2 tickets were issued the same day!.

    When I went to dispute my parking ticket there were people with a lot more serious violation i.e speeding in a school zone some going over 20mph and the judge was converting those to walking violations so they can pay their way out.

    Reply
  • Of course Nassau County needs the funds:

    https://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/fate-of-school-zone-speed-cameras-uncertain-1.7545509

    “ALBANY — A proposal to install as many as 125 traffic cameras in Long Island school zones has been blocked from the state budget, potentially damaging a Nassau County plan to lift a wage freeze.”

    “Failure to adopt school-zone speed cameras could put a big hole in Nassau’s budget. The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which oversees county finances, has said the estimated $8 million or more in annual revenue from speed-zone cameras could be used to help lift a union-employee wage freeze, which has run for three years.”

    “Uncertainty about the revenue was one factor in the board’s decision to postpone a vote on the deal until the second week of April, NIFA chairman Jon Kaiman said Saturday.”

    Reply
  • Who can I write a letter to complaining about the speed cameras?

    Reply
  • My complaint is that these speed limits are unrealistically low and they know they will catch a good number of people over that speed limit. They set the stage to be able to shoot fish in a barrel. I’d like to know what the accident stats are for school zones.

    Reply
    • Paul,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Of course, near any school, the limits must be lower than normal.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Yes, obviously lower than normal but not unreasonably low. I am mindful of the issue of children’s safety but at 15 or 20 MPH, I think we’re being set up so they can fill their pockets and use safety as a convenient excuse.

        Reply
  • It says One speed camera in each Nassau county school district but Farmingdale has TWO, Albany Ave and Howitt.

    Reply
  • Was driving, obeying the 20mph signs. Other drivers,who probably don’t know about this new law, we’re beeping, going around me, one car actually sent around me then slammed on his breaks. I almost got in an accident and had to stop short. Somehow I do not blame the other drivers of being annoyed. This is a grab for money. It’s like Gov. Cumeo, BAD. Will call mangano’s office tomorrow. Terrible law.

    Reply
    • Mary Heenan,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Nassau County installed a speed camera on Glen Cove Road in Roslyn in front of an elementary school. The problem is these young children rarely (if ever) cross this street. Instead, they could have installed one in front of the middle school or high school. In fact a few years back, a student died crossing the LIE Service Road to get to the Middle School. So why did Nassau County do something this stupid? Simple. Money. If they had installed the camera in front of either of those other two schools (where we need slower drivers), they would have had to share part of the revenue with the Village of East Hills. Instead, they chose a location that offers little (if no) safety value and 100% of the proceeds. Shameless!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • When was summer school over in plainedge middle school? I was ticketed in the middle of
    August.

    Reply
  • Thank you so much for your answers. There is a 20 mph sign, but it is before the strret that I came from. When I turned right on to the school street, there is no notice that the speed is 20. The only sign was the “photo enforced” sign.

    Reply
  • There is a sign that says speed photo enforced, but the first speed limit sign coming out of my development, is the one after the school that says 30mph. There is no sign saying speed 20 mph.the question is, can you be ticketed for 20 mph if there is no sign telling you that is the speed? Do you just have to know it!

    Reply
  • If summer school is 8:30 to 11:30 am. And the sign says 20mph from 7 am – 6 pm on school days, can you be ticketed at 12:40 pm? I read the state law about these cameras and it says the hour before and after, but the state Education Law says summer school is a school day so that would mean the 7 am – 6 pm speed rules. Also, the sign says “speed photo enforced” but there is NO speed limit sign. The sign is before the light where I turn, which is right before the school. Interested in what you think.

    Reply
    • Anonymous,

      Great question. I would say that a motorist who receives a speed camera ticket at 12:40 pm during summer school is not likely to beat it. I have been told that the law was allowing the cameras to remain active from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. In regard to your second question, I do not believe that speed camera warning signs are required but would have to check.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Oh please. Nassau is broke. The money is the primary reason for the install.

    Reply
  • so why don’t we all just obey the speed limit and make sure that the county does not get 25 million a year! actually make the county lose money by installing them, but not profiting from them.

    Reply
    • Anonymous,

      I’m sure that these cameras will help make motorists slow down (at least near the devices). Given that they’re near schools, this is a great thing.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply

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