Red Light Cameras to Increase from 1% of Intersections to 10%, if Bill Passes

Red Light Cameras to Increase from 1% of Intersections to 10%, if Bill Passes

By Yehudit Garmaise 

“How can we say to parents who have lost children to traffic violence, 'Sorry, we didn’t want to do the work to put red light cameras in that intersection,'” asked Brooklyn State Senator Andrew Gounardes this morning in Manhattan at a rally to expand the city’s 30-year-old Red Light Camera Program and keep it going until 2030.

In 2023, 29 New Yorkers were killed by drivers who did not obey the rules of the road. 

"The 150 cameras we have in a city with almost 14,000 corners with traffic signals is wholly inadequate," explained Gounardes, who, along with State Senator Jeffrey Dinowitz from the Bronx, sponsored the bill to reauthorize the camera program that is set to expire this year. 

Instead of having red light cameras at 1% of city intersections, Gounardes and Dinowitz propose increasing that number to 10%, with cameras at 1,325 locations citywide.

In the last 30 years, NYC has seen an almost 80% reduction in the number of violations of people who run red lights.

“When you see a red light, you do not go,” said Goudardes, who noted the slight uptick in reckless driving in the city since Covid. “You do not continue to travel. You have to stop your vehicle.”

Pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders are not the only New Yorkers who will be protected by New York expanding its Red Light Camera Program.

“The greatest increase in the number of lives who are saved by red light cameras are other drivers and passengers,” Gounardes pointed out. “This is not a bill meant to penalize drivers. It is a bill meant to protect everyone on our roads: drivers are at risk, if not more of getting T-boned at an intersection after someone else chooses to run a red light.”

Empowering the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend the registrations of vehicles whose drivers are hit with five or more red light camera violations in one year is another bill for which the Department of Transportation also expressed its support.

“Too many accidents occur at the hands of drivers who have proven they are dangerous behind the wheel,” said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, who sponsored the second bill along with Assemblymember William Magnarelli. “We know who the bad drivers are. Getting them off the streets should be a no-brainer.” 

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