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Cuomo pushes traffic cameras for LI school zones (Updated)

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to install traffic cameras in schools on Long Island to nab and deter speeders.

Cuomo's proposal would allow Nassau and Suffolk counties to pay for as many as 125 cameras with a limit of one camera for each school district under the pilot program.

Earlier this month, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said cameras at 20 school zones would not just enhance safety for children, but could bring $2 million in added revenue to the county.

Cuomo provided no estimates of the cost of the project for counties or the revenue it could bring. The state wouldn't pay for any of the experiment.

“This is a proposal that will make our schools and communities safer on Long Island, and I urge the legislature to pass it this year,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo made the proposal part of the bills released overnight among his 30-day amendments to his executive budget. The demonstration program for school zones has been defeated in past legislative sessions, but budget bills are tied to the state budget and are harder for the Legislature to defeat.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano commended Cuomo for the safety move.

 “There is no excuse for speeding through a school zone during school hours and speed cameras have a proven impact of slowing down drivers,” Bellone said.

The pilot project on Long Island would expand on a system in place that photographs drivers who run red lights.

Critics of the traffic cameras argue they are an intrusion on privacy and mostly used to increase traffic ticket revenue for government.

Legislative leaders examining Cuomo budget amendments Friday had no immediate comment on whether they would support the pilot project.

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