Suffolk drivers slam red-light camera program

Tempers flared Thursday as angry drivers voiced opposition to the Suffolk County Legislature about the controversial red-light camera program.

After receiving numerous complaints, the Legislature is trying to decide whether the program should be ended when the contract expires at the end of 2018.

Many residents like Dan McCarthy, of West Babylon, accuse Suffolk's red-light program of being a money grab.

"We are Americans and deserve due process," says McCarthy. "If a rapist can get a fair trial, so should the person getting a red-light camera ticket."

Stephen Ruth who pleaded not guilty to tampering with red-light cameras was also in attendance at the hearing.

Public Works Commissioner Gil Anderson says red-light cameras have reduced intersection collisions by 30 percent in the past two years and were designed to promote traffic safety.

"We've had a 10 percent reduction in accidents involving injuries for two years...we feel it's a very effective program," says Anderson.

Some speakers claimed yellow light sequences were shortened, but Committee Chair Kate Browning says they have yet to see proof in videos they have viewed.

The program started in Suffolk in 2009 with 50 cameras. Two years ago, it expanded to nearly 100 red-light camera locations. Nassau County has a similar program.

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