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Stephen Ruth, red-light camera opponent, ends battles with Suffolk lawmakers

Stephen Ruth of Centereach stands in front of a red-light camera on Aug. 26, 2015.  / James Carbone

In a surprise move, Stephen Ruth, the most prominent foe of Suffolk’s $29 million a year red light camera program, told lawmakers last week he was ending his battles with Suffolk county lawmakers.

“I’m not coming to these meetings any longer,” said Ruth, 45, a builder from Centereach.

Often armed with a video camera, Ruth has attended almost every legislative meeting in the past three...

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In a surprise move, Stephen Ruth, the most prominent foe of Suffolk’s $29 million a year red light camera program, told lawmakers last week he was ending his battles with Suffolk county lawmakers.

“I’m not coming to these meetings any longer,” said Ruth, 45, a builder from Centereach.

Often armed with a video camera, Ruth has attended almost every legislative meeting in the past three years. He ran unsuccessfully for county and state offices. He also was convicted of vandalizing wires on 17 cameras in 2016. 

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Ruth says the camera program is a money grab, rather than a safety program.

Majority Democrats have has resisted Ruth’s push against the cameras. But GOP lawmakers successfully pressed for a review of the program, and there is a lawsuit challenging its validity.

Rick Brand