FRANKLIN SQUARE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — School zone speed cameras are back in operation in Nassau County after the program’s initial rollout in July led to the dismissal of thousands of tickets.
Twenty cameras went into effect across the county Tuesday as students headed back to class.
Officials say the cameras will be on from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days. Drivers speeding more than 10 mph over the limit could be fined $80.
The county attempted to roll out the program in July, but County Executive Ed Mangano ended up dismissing all of the nearly 40,000 tickets issued due to flaws in the system.
“They weren’t working the way they should, and let’s hope everything is fixed up now,” parent Shoshana Lazaar told CBS 2’s Diane Macedo.
CBS 2 first exposed outrage over tickets issued during unpublicized summer school and off hours. Rudy Prankl’s four tickets at $80 apiece are now dismissed.
He said he’s learned his lesson.
“Just make sure that you’re watching times that on the tickets — God forbid you should get another one — that you just make sure that they’re within the parameters that the county has actually instituted as a violation time,” Prankl said.
“The people, I guess, should have seen enough (media) coverage about it to know by this time cameras are in effect,” said John Marks, director of the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency.
But critics say the county still has some kinks to work out.
“The signs are not obvious. They’re already covered by trees,” said Franklin Square parent Diane Hanson. “The other thing is police need to put in more enforcement on the side streets because there’s a lot more traffic now on Monton Avenue because people are trying to get away from the cameras.”
“You have to give people a heads-up that it is coming,” another driver in Bethpage told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.
Without flashing lights to warn drivers in every camera location, some say it seems more about revenue than safety.
“There should be flashing yellow lights, and the hours of operation on school days should be posted — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg. “That would be full, adequate and proper notice. I don’t believe we have it yet.”
County officials are promising to put flashing lights around signs to make them more apparent, but they say the fines will still be enforced in the meantime.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this year allowing 200 new speed cameras at school zones in New York City and Long Island.
While officials say the program is about public safety and not generating revenue, they do estimate the school zone cameras could bring in at least $25 million a year.
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