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Remove the Red Light Camera Program in Suffolk County, New York -

This petition had 5,896 supporters

In 2009, the Red Light Camera Program was first introduced in Suffolk County. In 2014, the Suffolk County Legislature voted to extend their contract with Xerox to 2019. While the program has generated revenue for Suffolk County it has created a financial burden for many of its citizens. Suffolk County has increased the RLC fines to $80 and does not allow for any kind of due process or ability for the accused to face their accusers.

In 2015, Mr. Stephen Ruth, the self-proclaimed Red Light Robin Hood, was arrested for posting a Facebook video of himself using a painter’s extension rod to push the red light camera up toward the sky . He brought international attention to the corruption of the Red Light Camera Programs. His video was viewed by more than one million people all over the world. It was at this moment everyone realized they were not alone.

Please share this petition with your friends by sharing it on social media, and email. We have outlined the issues below. Please add your comments below. It is our hope that we can remove the cameras that have actually made driving more unsafe for everyone.

The issues include, but not limited to the following:

1. Suffolk County is illegally adding the $30 admin fee to the $50 tickets. The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Code § 1111-b only authorizes Suffolk County to charge a maximum fine of $50 per ticket. The same code also only allows a one time maximum late fee of $25. Any additional fees are being charged without the authority of New York State that sets the guidelines for this program.

2. Suffolk County and Xerox are in a profit sharing business in which they share the revenues from tickets issued. Xerox is permitted to choose the locations for red light cameras based on the intersection's ability to produce a minimum of 25 tickets per business day. If a camera location does not produce the required minimum tickets, Suffolk County is obligated to pay Xerox about $2,000 per month for each under-performing camera and $17.25 for each ticket. If there are 100 cameras that do not meet the quota, Suffolk County will pay Xerox more than $200,000 a month until they move the cameras to a more profitable location. Suffolk County is not permitted to choose locations on their own unless the locations meet the minimum criteria mentioned above. With a quota comes the possibility of corruption to ensure that each camera produces enough tickets each day. This includes installing cameras at entrances to supermarkets and high traffic areas and not intersections with the most accidents. An intersection that has the most deaths but cannot produce 25 tickets per business day will not meet the minimum criteria to install a camera at that location. Camera locations are not chosen for safety. They are chosen based on the amount of revenue they can produce for Suffolk County and Xerox.

3. No Due Process. According to the United States Constitution the accused are afforded the opportunity to face their accusers who are accusing them of a crime and there is a presumption of innocence. An accused burglar or murderer on trial must be allowed to listen to witness testimony from those who accuse the person of the crime. The accused may also be given an attorney at no cost to defend them if they cannot afford to pay themselves. The accused are allowed to present their own evidence and witnesses to defend themselves. The Red Light Camera Court appears to circumvent these unalienable rights. The accuser is either a Xerox employee or Suffolk County employee who are not required to attend the hearing as a witness. The evidence usually consists of two photos, a video, and a document. The ticket is issued to the owner and not the driver even though the owner may not have been driving the car. the accused is not permitted to question the authenticity of the evidence used against him. The video is often edited to not show the event in full context. The video will start with the yellow turning quickly to the red. The accused is not permitted to watch the video begin with the green transitioning to the yellow transitioning to the red. In the Red Light Camera Courtroom there is a presumption of GUILT. When the accused enter the lobby, they are greeted by an individual who plays the video of of their violations. His job is to discourage the accused from wasting the court's time. He actually tells people they are guilty. interfering with citizens rights to a proper defense is an example of a tyrannical form of government that Suffolk County government supports.

4. In 2014, Accidents involving Personal Injuries actually increased at 44 of the 100 Red Light Camera Locations according to the 2014 Annual Report of the Suffolk County Red Light Camera Program. Rear End Collisions increased by 42% at the Red Light Camera Locations. Unfortunately the RLC program has proven to change drivers behaviors in a negative way. Often drivers are stopping short at yellow lights or driving very quickly just to avoid getting a ticket. Drivers will also look up at the traffic signal instead of looking forward creating an even more dangerous situation. There is a perception among drivers that the yellow light have been shortened to increase the number of tickets issued.

5. The Red Light Camera does not allow for any exceptions. If a car skids past the light on a snowy day, Guilty. If a car must pass through the light to avoid being rear-ended, Guilty. If a car does not wait at least three seconds before making a right turn, Guilty. If the driver of the car has a learner's permit and makes a mistake, Guilty. If the duration of the yellow light is not calibrated correctly, Guilty. if the car is over the white line by one inch, Guilty.

6. There are alternative options that were introduced in the State Assembly but ignored because they do not produce revenue. The installation of a countdown clock at every intersection would allow all drivers and pedestrians to know exactly when the light will turn red. Increasing the duration and setting NYS standards for the yellow lights will decrease accidents. There are no standards in New York State that mandate yellow light times. Delaying the start of the green lights by another two seconds would also prevent collisions with drivers who try to beat the light. A delayed green light has proven to work.

Many citizens are angered by this RLC program. The Red Light Cameras are now banned in States like New Jersey. We are asking Suffolk County to permanently ban this program because it does not work. We ask you to find another source of revenue.

Today: Hector is counting on you

Hector Gavilla needs your help with “Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone: Remove the Red Light Camera Program in Suffolk County, New York”. Join Hector and 5,895 supporters today.