AAA: Little to no oversight of red-light camera program

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AAA is calling for more accountability from the state when it comes to red-light cameras.

According to AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair, there has been little to no oversight of the controversial program – which has been called a money grab by some and a needed safety measure by others.

"The law says you have to submit reports, but many are late, many are incomplete, and some are missing completely," says Sinclair. "We think the state Department of Transportation needs to provide oversight, and there needs to be some penalty on these municipalities that are doing no reports or incomplete reports."

According to AAA, there are cameras at 100 intersections in both Nassau and Suffolk. That is fewer than New York City, but Suffolk and Nassau each charge additional fees on top of the $50 fine. The city does not. Suffolk charges an additional $30 and Nassau charges an additional $100.

According to statistics reported to the state, Suffolk collects nearly $30 million in revenue. Nassau collects more than $48 million -- that is twice what the city collects.

By law, every municipality is required to submit annual reports to the state. But according to AAA, Nassau hasn't submitted a report since 2016.

According to the report, there's been a 60% increase in rear-end crashes in Suffolk. AAA attributes the spike to drivers who just don't know what to do once that light turns yellow.

AAA says the counties should invest the revenue in traffic safety initiatives instead of using it to balance their budgets.

According to AAA, the most violations in Nassau were issued at the intersection of Old Country Road at Ring Road by the Roosevelt Field Mall. And in Suffolk, the most violations were issued on Route 110 northbound by the south service road to the Long Island Expressway.

Curran said in a statement, "My highest priority is the safety of our residents. Nassau's red light cameras are there to deter people from driving recklessly on our roads. The data shows that this program isn't just effective – it's saving lives with a consistent decrease in accidents every year and a 25.5% overall decrease in accidents since this program was implemented. In addition, for the ninth year in a row, there have been no fatalities at any intersections with red light cameras in all of Nassau County."

News 12 reached out to Suffolk officials and is waiting to hear back.

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