The Garden City board of trustees is seeking state permission to install up to five speed cameras within the village, despite a failed program on the county level in 2014.
Nassau County rolled out its own speed cameras without notifying the public, and the county Legislature ultimately voted to end the program following an outcry from residents. The cash-strapped county, over three months, took in $24 million in revenue through the program.
Garden City Mayor Brian Daughney said the village would learn from the county’s mistakes and post signage and include information on its website. Fines would be up to $150 per violation.
“We’re not hiding the speed cameras,” he said.
The board of trustees unanimously voted on Dec. 7 to reach out to the State Legislature for the required permission. The board is also asking residents to write letters to Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) and Assemb. Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square).
Hannon said he’s discussing the issue with the transportation committee, but after Nassau’s bungled program, “I don’t know if people would support it.”
Ra said he’s reviewing the village’s request, “but I am fully cognizant of the problems Nassau County experienced” and noted that the county’s authorization for one speed camera per school district runs through July 25. County Executive Laura Curran has backed off potential plans to bring the cameras back, following Republican opposition.
Daughney said the village hopes to install some cameras permanently and rotate the others’ locations, all of which have yet to be determined.
“It’s a need we have to address,” he said. “We want to protect our residents and our schoolchildren from people speeding.”
The mayor said the initiative is “not a money grab,” and the police department has other issues to focus on.
“Speed cameras, if they work, collect zero dollars” because drivers will be deterred from speeding through the signage, he said.
Thomas Hogan, president of the Garden City Eastern Property Owners’ Association, said residents are concerned about speeding within the village and most in his area seem to be in favor of the cameras.
“The general feedback I’m getting, the majority of it is positive,” he said. “Garden City has basically become what we think is a cut-through” for drivers.
Gerry Kelly, president of the Garden City Western Property Owners Association, said residents in his area recognize that speeding is an issue in the village — particularly around schools — but there is “no consensus that this is the way to go” with cameras.