SMITHTOWN - Several of the red light cameras that snap photos of drivers who roll through traffic lights are being moved to new intersections in Suffolk County.
More people are stopping at the red lights that have the cameras, meaning less accidents are occurring and fewer tickets are being issued. The county is removing the cameras from certain locations and putting them up at new intersections where safety can be improved.
"The whole premise in bringing it forward was to improve motor safety and frankly, seeing an intersection that no longer has red light cameras which once did means we are no longer getting a statistically significant number of motorists who are blowing red lights," says county Legislator John Kennedy.
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Safety isn't the only consideration, however. Suffolk is facing a large budget deficit, and a document from the county's Budget Review Office suggests that moving the cameras could generate more revenue.
"The public is becoming more cognizant of the red light cameras and changing its behavior, leading to fewer violations," the report reads. "This 'decay' in revenue is somewhat mitigated by moving the cameras."
County officials insist that safety, not money, is the No. 1 reason for moving the cameras.