Suffolk County Committee Decides to Extend Red-Light Camera Program

On September 19, Newsday reported that the Suffolk County Legislature’s Waiver Committee unanimously voted in favor of extending the contract of the county’s red-light camera vendor, resulting in the red-light camera program being extended for at least another year.

Conduent Inc., a technology company based in Florham Park, New Jersey, received an extension on its contract with the county which will run the end of 2019. Republican legislators were upset that the contract was renewed without seeking competitive bids or requests for proposal, but they are more upset that the red-light camera program is more about collecting revenues than making the roads safer for drivers.

In July, the Suffolk County Police Department released a safety program report on the effectiveness of the red-light camera program. According to the report, the number of crashes at red-light intersections fell from 1,134 in 2016 to 946 last year – a 16.6% decrease. Rear-end collisions at these intersections fell by 6.4% year-over-year from 422 to 395 and collisions resulting in injury dropped 17.4% from 483 in 2016 to 399 in 2017.

The SCPD further reported that the program generated approximately $29 million in gross revenues last year; this included fines, administrative and other fees, and interest. Of that money, approximately $9.3 million went to pay Conduent.

According to the SCPD, 377,495 red-light camera citations were issued last year. For those who received these citations, 1.07% scheduled a hearing and only 0.12% of those scheduled resulted in trial. Further, 39% of those scheduled for a court hearing paid their fines prior to court, while only 0.01% had their cases dismissed the day of the trial.

If you received a red-light camera ticket, you should know your rights and the fact that you can challenge the citations in traffic court. If you have been issued tickets or have been charged with a crime that can result in the revocation of your license, contact the experienced Long Island traffic law attorneys at McGuire, Peláez & Bennett P.C. at (631) 348-1702 or visit www.central-islip-lawyer.com

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