WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A round of 100 new red-light cameras are going up across Long Island.
But some drivers are seeing red, claiming they were caught in a trap because the cameras went up without signs warning that they were put in place.
“The cameras are being put all over the place without proper warning,” Westbury resident Vincent Lee told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday.
He claimed that his county government is after cash at the expense of safety.
“People are having rear-end collisions as a result of these signs not being posted,” he told McLogan.
Fifty of the new Nassau cameras, which will include video, are without the customary “photo enforced” alerts.
The lack of signs has created chaos at some intersections when nervous drivers suddenly slam on the brakes, critics argued.
“It’s just a money-making scam for Nassau,” one driver complained.
But county officials dispute that, saying the red-light cameras are all about safety and changing the behavior of reckless drivers.
Officials also noted that there is no law on the books in New York that mandates camera alerts at intersections, although they plan to install them in the future.
“The signs, again, are not a requirement. There is no state nor local statute; we do it strictly as a courtesy,” Nassau Traffic Safety Director Christopher Mistron told McLogan.
AAA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other advocacy groups said accidents are going down due to red-light cameras.
Crash victim and advocate Marge Lee said she doesn’t understand the argument that drivers think they should be warned against blowing through a yellow light.
“You don’t deserve to be warned about breaking the law. You deserve to get a ticket if you break the law,” Lee of Dedicatedd of Long Island told McLogan.
Nassau’s warning signs won’t be up for several more months. Until then, new red-light cameras will be fully operational, with fines imposed.
Fines and surcharges are going up from $50 to $80 for red-light camera violators in Nassau County. Late fees could double that.
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