Watchdog: Eyeing red light camera questions

Installation of the new round of red light Installation of the new round of red light cameras in Nassau County has begun, and a reader has pointed out that the customary warning signs are nowhere to be seen. Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara, 2011

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Judy Cartwright Judy Cartwright

Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column ...

Installation of the new round of red light cameras in Nassau County has begun, and a reader has pointed out that the customary warning signs are nowhere to be seen.

Vincent Lee of Westbury asked us if the county has stopped using the signs, which have an image of a traffic signal and the words "photo enforced."

Nassau assures us that the county has not abandoned use of such signs and that new ones will be posted at the 50 intersections where new cameras are being installed.

Lee thought it odd that the cameras are operating before the signs are posted. "They should shut them off until the signs are up," he told us.

But Nassau apparently never offered a guarantee that such signs would be used to warn drivers of the camera-monitored intersections. In the county law authorizing the program, we didn't find any mention that such signs are required, and there's no entry on Nassau's Red Light Camera Program website saying that the intersections will be identified.

Even though such warnings aren't required by law, "the county has plans to install signs at the new locations in the coming months as we believe it is fair to alert drivers of the cameras," Nassau's coordinator of traffic safety, Christopher Mistron, told Watchdog.

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In Suffolk, expansion of the Red Light Camera Program to 50 more intersections has been delayed. But, based on a statement on the county's Red Light Camera website, drivers can expect to see signs identifying the locations when those new cameras are installed.

"There will be signs posted at intersections where red light cameras have been installed," the site's Frequently Asked Questions section says.

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