Nassau County drivers may have all the more reason to start hitting their brakes in those faint few seconds when traffic lights turn from yellow to red. Aside from the personal safety issues and risks from running a red light, fees from violations issued from the county's red light camera system may be going up.
At Monday's meeting of the , Legislator David Denenberg, D-Merrick, stated that talks within the administration indicated that the fee per red light camera violation could increase from $50 to $75 per violation. The county is also seeking to increase the number of intersections with red light cameras from 50 to 100. Both the increased fine and additional locations require approval from the state. Denenberg and Judi Bosworth, D-Great Neck, were the only legislators to cast votes against the red light administrative fee.
The county will also be tacking on a "documentary fee," which is entirely separate from the red light camera violations. Described as an administrative charge, a spokesperson from Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt's office stated that due to new legislation, there would be a new $15 administrative fee would be assessed per documentary violation. For example, if a driver were to be pulled over and did not have a license with them, it could be dismissed upon proof that person has a license, but a $15 administration fee would still be charged. If that person also did not have a registration, it would be a separate $15 fee, thus bringing the total to $30.
"The change is per violation," the spokesperson said.
Denenberg also mentioned in the context of a discussion on the county's bonded debt that the money produced by red light camera was supposed to help pay for the County's social programs in a special fund.
"To date we're looking for where that fund was created, to date we don't have information that it was created," Denenberg added.
That fund was allegedly to have between $18-22 million and possibly as high as $38 million according to Legislator Kevan Abrahams, D-Hempstead. According to legislation passed unanimously by the legislature in 2009, "all funds collected" by the red light camera initiative would be used "solely to pay for expenses" of the red light cameras and to provide funding for contracts with he Youth Board, Department of Senior Affairs, Department of Veterans Services, Department of Mental Health, and Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disability Services.
Majority Leader Peter Schmitt, R-Massapequa, said Monday that the revenue from the red light cameras was "far below" projections due to difficulties in getting the cameras up and running.
In early August, vandals struck 14 red light cameras in Nassau County, spray painting the lens' to prevent them from recording.
An antenna on one of the cameras was also damaged. Cameras were damaged at five intersections in Carle Place, East Garden City, East Meadow and Westbury.
For more information on the county's red light program, click here. The locations of the current red light cameras are as follows:
- Mineola Boulevard/Franklin Avenue. and Old Country Road
- Roslyn Road and Old Country Road
- I.U. Willets Road and Willis Avenue
- I.U. Willets Road and Roslyn Road
- Atlantic Avenue and Grand Avenue
- Grand Avenue and Seaman Avenue
- Grand Avenue and Stanton Avenue
- Grand Avenue and DeMott Avenue
- Grand Avenue and Merrick Road
- Milburn Avenue and Merrick Road
- Bayville Avenue and Ludlam Avenue
- Bellmore Avenue and Newbridge Road
- Merrick Road and Newbridge Road
- Jerusalem Avenue and Bellmore Road
- Central Avenue and Stewart Avenue
- Central Avenue and Broadway
- Stewart Avenue and Cherry Avenue
- Glen Cove Road and Old Country Road
- Glen Cove Road and Westbury Avenue
- Peninsula Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike
East Garden City
- Charles Lindbergh Boulevard and Earle Ovington Boulevard
- Stewart Avenue and Merchants Concourse
- Merrick Avenue and Front Street
- East Meadow Avenue and Front Street
- Atlantic Avenue and Ocean Avenue
- Atlantic Ave and Main Street
- Elmont Road and Dutch Broadway
- Elmont Road and Linden Boulevard.
- New Hyde Park Road and Tulip Avenue
- Franklin Avenue and Corona Avenue
- Glen Cove Road and Glen Head Road
- Middle Neck Road and GreatNeck Road
- Cutter Mill Road and Great Neck Road
- Glen Cove Road and Helen Street
- Herricks Road and Shelter Rock Road
- Old Country Road and South Oyster Bay Road
- Old Country Road and Levittown Parkway
- Old Country Road and Jerusalem Avenue
- Old Country Road and Division Avenue
- Nassau Expressway and Bay Boulevard
- Nassau Expressway and Burnside Avenue
- Austin Boulevard and Empire Boulevard
- Nassau Expressway and Rockaway Turnpike
- Loring Road and N. Jerusalem Road
- Wantagh Avenue and Old Jerusalem Road
- Lido Boulevard and Greenway Road
- Lido Boulevard and Loop Parkway
- Carmans Road and Louden Street
- Broadway and Clark Boulevard
- Merrick Road and Harbor Lane
- Merrick Road and Merrick Avenue
New Hyde Park
- Marcus Avenue and New Hyde Park Road
- Long Beach Road and Mott Street
- Long Beach Road and Daly Boulevard
- Jackson Avenue and Convent Road
- Uniondale Avenue and Front Street
- Uniondale Avenue and Nassau Road
- Post Avenue/Merrick Avenue and Old Country Road
- Old Country Road and School Street
- Woodmere Boulevard and Peninsula Boulevard