Suffolk County Legislator Criticizes Red Light Camera Program

MILLER PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Suffolk County legislator claims the county has been improperly reporting statistics involving red light traffic cameras.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the father of 16-year-old John Luke lowered his head Thursday as he stood by the busy intersection in Miller Place where his son was killed while trying to cross the street.

Legislator Robert Trotta said not only did John Luke die at the intersection, but so did a 14-year-old boy riding his bicycle.

Trotta said by law, since the intersection has a red light camera, their deaths should have been reported as part of the safety data, but they were not. He claimed the county may be trying to cover up the fact the intersection — and all red light camera intersections — are dangerous.

“How can you adequately review a program when they are leaving the most important data out?” he said.

He said this is another reason to suspend the red light camera program.

“I absolutely think there’s coercion with the county to keep that money stream coming in. And it’s wrong and it may be criminal, and I’m asking the New York State attorney general to investigate,” he said.

Trotta said last year the program generated more than $30 million for the county and called it a money grab, Hall reported.

A county spokesperson responded, saying “Rob Trotta should be ashamed at lying to the public just to score political points at the expense of an effective public safety program.”

“To be clear, Suffolk County never told its engineering firm, Nelson and Pope, to exclude pedestrian or bicycle accident data. On the contrary, Suffolk County has voluntarily included accident data in these reports that go above and beyond state law requirements in the interest of transparency,” the statement continued. “The truth is that Suffolk County continually sees accidents with injury decreasing, with the latest year showing a five percent decline altogether.”

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