NYS Senate Passes Red-Light Safety Camera Legislation
Albany, NY — The New
York State Senate passed legislation sponsored by State Senator Andrea
Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District) that allows for the installation of new
red-light cameras in the City of Yonkers that will improve traffic safety, and
catch those who speed through intersections placing the lives of other
motorists at risk.
According to a 2007 report by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, almost 900 people were killed and an estimated 153,000
injured nationwide as a result of people running red lights. One person dies
from every 100 red-light related accidents.
The passage of S.3745 authorizes the City of Yonkers
to install up to 25 new red-light cameras. These cameras turn on only when the
light is red, at which point they photograph only the license plate numbers of
drivers who are "in the box", disobeying traffic safety laws. The
City will be required to issue an annual report to the Governor and legislative
leaders detailing the effectiveness of this technology in our community.
"We have all witnessed people who disregard red lights, who speed up after
the light has turned yellow, and who literally endanger the lives of
pedestrians and other motorists," said Senator Stewart-Cousins.
"These cameras are designed to enhance public safety across the City of Yonkers
and to remind everyone that running red lights is dangerous and illegal."
Traffic violations in more populated communities are more
difficult to enforce due to the impossibility of policing every major
intersection, particularly during rush hours. This legislation includes
protections for vehicle owners from being convicted of a red-light violation if
the vehicle has been reported stolen, or the traffic signal was malfunctioning.
To further safeguard the privacy of drivers, it exempts recorded images from
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law, and requires that municipalities
exclude images of occupants and contents of the vehicle from photographs.
The companion bill, A.7330, introduced by Assemblyman Mike
Spano (D-Yonkers), was passed yesterday by the New York State Assembly,
therefore this legislation now awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.