Red Light Camera Reports are being Manipulated to Provide Desired Safety Data Even as Accidents Increase in Many Locations Legislator Trotta asks NYS Attorney General to Investigate
(Smithtown, NY)… Suffolk County Legislators Rob Trotta, Leslie Kennedy, and Tom Muratore, as well as concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of Rt. 25A and Miller Place Road in Miller Place where Red Light Camera (RLC) accidents have increased by 158.9% and rear end accidents by 580.09%. This is one of several intersections throughout Suffolk County that have seen a tremendous increase in accidents after the cameras were installed. It is their contention that this increase is due to the Red Light Camera Program which was implemented to safeguard the residents, but in reality it is generating millions of dollars of income for the county.
Legislator Trotta had questioned the lack of statistics about the severity of the accidents, injuries and deaths. A Nelson & Pope traffic engineer, who is contracted to prepare the county’s annual Red Light Camera Program Report, advised Legislator Trotta that his company was instructed not to include crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists at red light camera locations in the report submitted to the state and the public at large. The engineer stated that he was told “a few years ago” not to include them. This time period coincides with the 2013 report that showed a 100% increase of fatal accidents at the 50 new camera locations added in 2013. The new reports did not provide a breakdown of those accidents. New York State Motor Vehicle & Traffic Law, section 111-b4, 2m, 1-4, stipulates that any city that adopts a traffic-control signal photo violation monitoring system, must submit a report annually and include “the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents reported at intersections where a traffic–control signal photo violation–monitoring system is used and the number of violations recorded at each intersection where a signal system is used and in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” as well as other requirements. “Clearly, this information has not been included in the annual RLC reports, and the lack of it taints the results and produces misleading information. Aren’t their lives important, too?” asked Legislator Trotta.
Legislator Trotta and his colleagues are calling for an investigation into why critical data has been excluded from these annual reports when it is required by state law. “These reports show that the County Executive and the Democratic administration have a total disregard for the public’s safety and are only concerned about increasing revenue to bail out the county at the expense of the taxpayer,” said Legislator Trotta. Legislator Trotta has sent a letter to NYS Attorney General Schneiderman requesting that his office investigate this matter.
Legislator Robert Trotta represents the 13th Legislative District, which includes Smithtown, Fort Salonga, Kings Park, San Remo, Nissequogue, Head of the Harbor, and St. James, as well as most of East Northport and parts of Northport and Commack.
Legislator Trotta serves on the Legislature's Economic Development, Environment, Planning & Agriculture, Health, Public Works, Transportation & Energy, and Ways & Means committees.
Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta
59 Landing Avenue, Smithtown, NY 11787
(P) 631-854-3900 (F) 631-854-3903 (W) http://www.scnylegislature.us/