Lawmakers: Suffolk shortened yellow lights to meet quotas

Some Suffolk legislators allege that the county shortened yellow light times at certain intersections in an effort to meet quotas for red light cameras.

They say the county would have to pay penalties if it did not reach a daily ticket quota.

Legislator Rob Trotta (R - District 13) says he personally saw timing changes at red light camera intersections as opposed to intersections without red light cameras.

"I went to camera spots where the yellow light is three seconds. Down the road 100 yards, now I see there is no cameras and the yellow light is five seconds," says Trotta.

County officials disagree, saying yellow light times are according to state standards and that they certainly haven't been changed to catch more drivers.

"Light times were not reduced at intersections where red light cameras were installed," says Public Works Commissioner Gilbert Anderson.

County Executive Steve Bellone's spokesman told News 12 that these are "desperate candidates willing to lie to voters at the expense of public safety" just before Election Day.

Still, legislators say they are currently drafting a bill that would put an end to the red light camera program.

"The red light camera program is a scam. It's dangerous. It is nothing more than a systematic form of extortion at our expense," says Stephen Ruth, who was recently arrested for tampering with a camera.

Tickets for red light camera violations are $80.


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