CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As he prepares for his trial for allegedly tampering with red light cameras, a Long Island man said he’s planning more camera attacks.
As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, Stephen Ruth is convinced a jury will acquit him of government administration obstruction charges for using a pole to redirect red light cameras.
“In pushing up a camera, or disassembling a camera, or whatever I do to a camera, all I’m doing is preventing drivers from being ticketed, tricked into tickets,” Ruth said.
Last August, the Centereach man posted videos online of himself using a painter’s extension rod to turn several red light cameras in Ronkonkoma toward the sky so they would not catch violators.
The 42-year-old who has been dubbed “Red Light Robin Hood” is free on bail pending his next court appearance scheduled for February.
Convinced he will win his trial, Ruth said he’s already planning his next anti-red light camera move, Xirinachs reported.
“I will single-handedly tear down the red light camera program with no fear of jail time,” he said.
Ruth called the cameras unconstitutional and his claims caught the eye of a local lawmaker.
Based on his own videotaping of 100 intersections in Suffolk County, Ruth said he believes officials shortened yellow lights at intersections with red light cameras to produce revenue.
Leg. Rob Trotta, a former police officer, also found quicker yellow arrows at camera intersections.
Suffolk officials told CBS2 back in September the state Department of Transportation decides how long yellow lights last and the county chooses camera locations based solely on traffic data.
But a spokesman for the state DOT said the department does not set timing requirements for signals on all roadways, just the ones on state roads.
Trotta said drivers — unaware yellow light times vary — are getting ripped off.