GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Drivers hated them, but speed cameras with hefty fines could be making a comeback in one heavily-traveled part of Long Island.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the Village of Garden City has asked the state Legislature for special permission to install several cameras.

The wildly unpopular speed cameras did not last long in Nassau County. They were rolled out in 2014, but officials put the brakes on the program amid public uproar.

So why now is the Village of Garden City proposing its own speed cams? Because navigational apps, said Mayor Brian Daughney, are sending more speeding drivers through the village and sapping its resources.

“We cannot physically afford to have the number of police we would need to adequately enforce speeding,” Daughney said.

Centrally-located Garden City has seen a traffic spike as a cut-through to avoid crowded parkways. Gerry Kelly of the Garden City Western Property Owners Association said Stewart Avenue in front of his house is at times a speedway – but he is not so fast to welcome back cameras.

“The concept is one that we welcome, trying to slow down traffic,” Kelly said. “But the devil’s in the details, and the details have not been presented.”

The village is asking the state to approve five cameras – locations to be determined – with $150 fines for drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 7 mph.

The county’s cameras were shamed as a money grab. So even if the cameras will only be in Garden City, some folks are bristling.

“I thought they were trying to get money from everyone,” one woman said.

“Definitely not a good thing, because it’s just so many tickets; so much money,” another said.

But Daughney said the Garden City program does not in any way amount just to resuming the countywide program on a local level.

“Our program will be much different than the failed county program,” he said. “We will give people plenty of notice. If we can get $0 out of this, that’s fine. We want to people to stop speeding.”

Daughney said it is technology that is causing the problem of the uptick of speeding drivers, and there is no reason technology should not help solve it.

New York City currently has 140 locations with speed cameras. A spokesman for Nassau County said the idea of bringing them back throughout the county is not under discussion.


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