WXXI Local Stories
Tue April 7, 2009
Senate Approves Red Light Cameras
By Bud Lowell
Rochester, NY – The State Senate has approved a package of bills that will allow Rochester, Buffalo and other upstate New York cities to install red light cameras.
The cameras are set up at crash-prone intersections to catch people who run red lights. Police send a notice of liability and a $50 ticket to the registered owner of the car.
New York City has had the cameras in use since 2006, and State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan says they've saved lives. She predicts upstate communities will discover the same thing.
But western New York Senators George Maziarz and Dale Volker voted "no." Volker -- who represents parts of Ontario, Genesee, Livingston and Erie Counties -- says the cameras won't prevent injuries or make money for the cities that install them. Volker said they'll cause people to jam on their brakes and be rear-ended. Senator Volker also says he's had constituents from the Buffalo area bring him automated ticket notices they got when they were nowhere near New York City.
Senate approval of the bills means only Governor Paterson's signature is needed before Rochester city officials can begin planning for red light cameras. Mayor Robert Duffy has said he wants the system to help prevent accidents, but isn't counting on it for new city revenues. City Council would have to vote to authorize the cameras.