Committee vote sends red-light camera proposal to full Suffolk Legislature

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A Suffolk legislative committee voted Thursday to send a proposal to extend the controversial red-light program to the full Legislature.

Supporters say studies show drivers are being more careful about obeying traffic laws. While critics acknowledge that the number of accidents with injuries has decreased, they note that the overall number of accidents has increased – pointing to rear-end crashes at intersections.

Supporters say the increase has nothing to do with red-light cameras. They say it's because of the increasing problem of distracted drivers who are texting or talking on cellphones.

“Rear end accidents from 2013 to 2018 in Suffolk County are up by 116%,” says Paul Margiotta, of the Suffolk Traffic Violations Agency. “However, at red-light camera intersections, they increased only 53%.”

Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) told News 12 that she could only think of four red-light cameras that should stay in place throughout the whole county.

“That’s it. The rest are a pure money grab,” she says.

The proposal will go before the entire Legislature next week.

Suffolk County takes in approximately $20 million a year from red-light camera violations.

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