A woman gives her papers to a New York State...

A woman gives her papers to a New York State trooper after being pulled over while driving westbound on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island. (April 24, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Finally, Suffolk County has persuaded the State Legislature to let the county create a traffic violations bureau. Nassau got its bureau two decades ago, but Suffolk has never been able to make it happen.

The new bureau will allow the county to keep for its own use almost all of the proceeds from traffic tickets, which now flow almost entirely to Albany. Once the act takes effect, next April, this could mean as much as $10 million a year in additional revenue for the county. So, if you behave badly on the roads, you'll at least have the consolation that money from your fines stays here.

The bill was sponsored by Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) and Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley). And it helped that new County Executive Steve Bellone put a heavy emphasis this year on building a better relationship with Albany. That seems to have paid off.

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