Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column
School speed cameras showed up before we were ready.
And that meant we didn't have many answers when readers began to ask questions after reporter Laura Figueroa's July 26 story, which revealed that three speed cameras are already at work in Nassau.
We did know this much: The state law that authorized the cameras allows one in each school district -- 56 in Nassau and 69 in Suffolk -- and permits cameras to operate on school days, from one hour before school until one hour after, as well as during other school events and for a half-hour before and after.
Last week we asked Nassau County for some specifics about how the program is going to work. (We'll catch up with Suffolk when its cameras begin operating, which is expected early next year.) Here's what Christopher Mistron, Nassau County's traffic safety coordinator, said in an email response:
Will signs advise drivers that speed cameras are being used?
Yes, signs stating "Speed Limit Enforced by Camera/Video" are in the school zones using the electronic enforcement.
Will flashing lights be used to inform drivers when the cameras are in use?
Will posted school speed limits be uniform in all school speed zones?
On a street with multiple lanes, can the camera differentiate between drivers in different lanes?
How are the cameras activated?
Will humans review the photos before tickets are issued?
Will all cameras be in operation by the beginning of the school year in September?
Is a list of all speed camera locations available?
And, as for the tickets: Each will carry a $50 fine, plus the $30 administrative fee added to all traffic violations.
Don't say we didn't warn you.