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Nassau adds more school-zone speed cameras

A speed limit sign is seen along Stewart

A speed limit sign is seen along Stewart Avenue in Bethpage on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Nassau County is expanding its controversial school-zone speed camera program to sites in Uniondale, Great Neck and Garden City this week, bringing the total number of locations to 28.

Fixed camera sites will begin operating Monday at Turtle Hook Middle School in Uniondale, William A. Shine Great Neck South High School and Garden City High School. Fixed cameras will continue to operate at 21 other schools.

Nassau also will operate four mobile cameras this week -- at Oceanside High School; Wheeler Avenue Elementary School and Robert W. Carbonaro Elementary School, both in Valley Stream; and Franklin Elementary School in Hempstead. Only one camera at a time can operate legally in each public school district, but the Valley Stream schools are located in different districts. Cameras at each of the sites have operated periodically since the program began in early September.

Nassau has not decided where to locate cameras in the remaining 28 school districts that will get cameras. County spokesman Brian Nevin said officials expect to have all 56 camera sites operating before the end of the year.

The cameras generally operate from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., although times may vary slightly at some locations. Violators must pay $80 in fines and fees.

Nassau expects to generate up to $30 million in new revenue annually from the cameras.

However, officials have declined to detail how many tickets or how much revenue has been raised since the program began Sept. 2. The county last week denied a Freedom of Information Law request from Newsday for data on the program, arguing that Nassau's Traffic and Parking Violation Agency is exempt from FOIL because the agency is an arm of the District Court, a judicial body not covered by the law.

Nevin said the county's Office of Management and Budget will release data on the program after reviewing the information.

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