Letter To The Editor – Red-Light Camera Study
The Suffolk Legislature just approved Legislator Sarah Anker’s bill that allocates $250,000 to study why there has been a tremendous increase in accidents at red-light camera locations in an attempt to preserve the program. You read that correctly – $250,000 to study why rear-end collisions have increased by 30% and overall accidents have drastically increased at 44 out of 100 red-light camera intersections. Legislator Anker, you cannot continue to fool the residents of Suffolk County. We drive through these intersections every day, and we know exactly what caused this increase in accidents – the cameras themselves! Suffolk will pay a quarter of a million dollars for this study and they will get the result they want – the continuation of the program. All this study will do is allow the Suffolk County government to say that an independent contractor has concluded, through their own research, that this program is safe and should continue, when in reality, the statistics speak for themselves – this program is a dangerous money grab. If I paid an independent contractor that much to tell me the sky is green, I’m going to be delivered a report that says the sky is green!
Anker said, “We agree there are issues with the red-light camera program. We agree incidents of injury accidents have increased… But to pull the rug out of this safety program is concerning.” Here’s what’s really concerning: the Suffolk County government has lied to us for seven years that this program is reducing accidents. This study can take years to complete, while accidents continue to rise and almost $10 million of the $33 million annually taken from residents is funneled out of Suffolk and out of state to Xerox, who operates the program from Maryland. This program has harmed so many lives – at least keep the money you steal through it in Suffolk!
Legislator Anker, I’ll save you $250,000 and countless injuries in one paragraph: the red-light camera program has been increasing injury accidents because it is based on revenue, not safety! The contract explicitly states that Xerox can move and place cameras at their own discretion based on the amount of tickets garnered by location without giving reason to Suffolk county. At many red-light camera intersections, there were zero reported accidents prior to the cameras being installed.
People have become afraid to drive because of these cameras. As soon as the light turns yellow, brakes are slammed and bumpers collide. What will this study be searching for? What do you expect to find? $250,000 to finally realize that these cameras are to blame for countless injuries and many fatalities!
The dishonesty of the Suffolk County government does not end. They even refuse to include accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in their safety reports. They have finally admitted that this program causes accidents, but have elected to continue jeopardizing our children’s lives because it nets them more than $33 million a year. We face a structural deficit of $165 million county-wide. They trade the lives of Suffolk residents to cover their reckless spending.
This dangerous money grab needs to end. The harm this program has done has gone on long enough. The only way to end this program is to vote – to vote out those who value your money more than your lives! Visit my websites www.Gavilla.com and www.RedLightScam.com to learn more about how this program has terrorized Suffolk residents for almost a decade, and why it must end.
I implore you to reach out to me at my personal cell phone number, 516-526-8557, with any concerns you have. We must end the red-light camera program, end the rampant building of high-density housing, and remove the $50 million dollars in backdoor taxes implemented by the Suffolk Legislature in 2017.
Candidate for Suffolk County Legislature, 16th District