CENTEREACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man who has been waging a one-man war on red-light cameras has launched a campaign for New York State Senate – challenging the majority leader.
He will be running as a Libertarian against New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), Newsday reported.
He was arraigned in June on charges of cutting wires to red light cameras in Coram and of cutting down a red light camera.
Ruth was also charged with tampering with red light cameras in Ronkonkoma in August 2015. Ruth posted videos online of himself using a painter’s extension rod to tamper with the devices.
After videotaping 100 intersections in Suffolk County, Ruth said he believes officials shortened yellow lights at intersections with red light cameras to produce revenue. On Friday, Ruth insisted that he was not breaking any laws, saying the government installed what he called “unconstitutional” red light cameras at intersections.
Following Ruth’s anti-camera stunts, opponents of the red light camera plancalled for a suspension of the cameras until the county hands over accident data that shows if red-light cameras have improved public safety. It is data that AAA said it has been trying to get its hands on for a year on behalf of drivers.
Data released in April 2016 showed that at about half of the intersections with red-light cameras in Suffolk County, accidents with injuries are up. At two Commack intersections, accidents had doubled. But the report also showed that overall, total crashes involving injuries are down 4 percent at red-light camera intersections. County officials said the types of accidents that are happening and being prevented shows the cameras save lives.