The location of speed camera in a New York City borough raised enough controversy due to the number of revenue-generating tickets it has issued that some city council members and residents are questioning its validity.
The speed camera is located near an exit ramp where the speed limit drops from highway speeds to 30 mph. On one day in July, the camera resulted in 1,551 tickets worth a grand total of $77,550, according to data from the city's Department of Transportation reported by the New York Post.
While the DOT spokesman told the Post the camera is located "a good amount of distance for drivers to adjust their speeds," councilman Mark Treyger and some residents disagreed.
"This camera seems to be conveniently placed so close to the exit ramp that you are almost guaranteed to set off this speed trap,” Connie C., who lives in the area and received a $50 fine from the camera in July, told the blog Sheepshead Bites earlier this month. “[It's] positioned right in between the exit ramp and the entrance ramp, so basically they have you either way. As you are accelerating to get onto the ramp to enter the highway or coming off the highway at 50mph. I thought is seemed quite fishy.”
Councilman Chaim Deutsch told the blog in a separate post that he believes anyone found speeding should receive a citation.
“But I don't want it to be a ‘gotcha’ camera, and people need to be aware there’s a camera and they should exit the ramp safely," he added, telling the blog that locals who now know the location of the camera have adapted to slow down faster while coming off the ramp.
The speed camera snaps a photo and issues a ticket to violators going 10 mph or more over the limit, but the spokesman told the Post that "someone slowing from 50 to 40 mph or from 45 to 35 would not receive a violation."
For now, the camera will remain working in its current location.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this year allowing 200 new speed cameras at school zones in New York City and Long Island. The cameras are supposed to operate during and immediately before and after school. Last month, Nassau County, New York, forgave $2.4 million in speed camera tickets that were wrongly issued in six school zone locations.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano told Newsday that five cameras issued tickets on days when school was not in session. Cameras at a sixth location began operating prematurely.
The city's DOT also announced earlier this month that it would add 50 new cameras to its red light program. This move doubles the number of red light cameras in the program.
“Red light cameras make our intersections safer and for years now we’ve advocated for the expansion of their use on New York City streets,” Transportation Commissioner Weinshall said in a statement.
The city's red light camera program began in 1993 and has generated $130 million in revenue since then, according to the DOT.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Front page image via Shutterstock.