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School speed camera fines climb in Nassau

Cars drive past the speed camera set up

Cars drive past the speed camera set up in front of Dutch Broadway School on Dutch Broadway on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in Elmont. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau continues to rack up millions of dollars in school speed camera revenues, according to the county’s internal accounting system.

As of Oct. 10, the county had recorded $1.4 million in revenues collected from drivers caught on camera speeding through school zones between 7 a.m and 6 p.m. A new view of the computerized accounting system supplied to Newsday shows that by Thursday school speed camera revenues had jumped to $4,323,924.

That means the county collected about $224,640 a day during the 13 days between snapshots of the accounting system. That period included four weekend days and a holiday. If the pace continued unchanged, Nassau could collect nearly $82 million over a year.

However, there are several factors that could alter the revenue flow. When the regular school year is over, cameras won’t operate outside schools that aren’t holding summer sessions. Most people expect revenues to slow as drivers become aware of the cameras. On the other hand, the county also is only about halfway through installing all the cameras planned in school speed zones, and more cameras could mean more tickets

The county has projected a net $30 million a year in speed camera revenues. If it got $82 million, that would mean the county had issued about 1.34 million tickets at $80 each, which include a $50 fine and $30 administrative fee. The speed camera operator American Traffic Solutions of Arizona gets 38 percent of all fines but no cut of the administrative fee.

Mathematically, that many tickets could mean that every registered voter in Nassau would get at least one ticket and nearly half would get two tickets. It's no surprise that lawmakers at all levels report getting numerous complaints from their constituents about the school speed camera program. But the numbers are just starting to come in.

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This item was updated to clarify that there are several caveats for the projections.

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