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New York Sued Over Traffic-Light Camera Tickets, Fines

The City of New York is being sued by three men who were ticketed by New York’s red-light traffic cameras. They claimed that the system’s yellow signals are shorter in duration than the law allows.

According to the complaint filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, traffic lights are changing to red display yellow for a shorter time than the minimum three seconds federal time and that New York City has installed 168 more cameras than that state law allows.

The complaints filed by the three men seek to sue on behalf of other motorists nabbed by the cameras. They stated that the city must therefore return the fines they illegally collected without the right purpose since starting the red- light camera program in 1998.

In April of 1998, the state passed legislation allowing the city to start the program and install red-light cameras at 50 locations.

There were other bills passed in June 2006 and April 2009 which allowed the city to install 100 additional cameras so the city is now operating a total of 318 cameras.

The plaintiffs are seeking to stop the program until it follows the state and federal laws and to refund all illegitimately issued citations and improper fines.

DOT cameras automatically take high-resolution pictures of vehicles that run red lights, that included close-ups of license plates, and issue summonses to the owners.

Since it started in 2007, the program has already earned about $235 million in revenue and $47.2 million in 2011.
A nonprofit group, known as the AAA for drivers recently discovered that some intersections operated yellow lights for less than three seconds.

Seth Solomonow who stood as spokesperson for the transportation department stated that the city’s traffic signals have been timed to provide a yellow light for a minimum of three seconds and the cameras to take pictures 0.3 seconds after the light has turned red. Some of the intersections didn’t even have red light cameras installed or maintained only inactive cameras.

Solomon claimed that the complaints alleged were untrue as last October that have inspected signals at red-light camera locations and confirmed that they were all properly timed, although other intersections do not have red light cameras.

Sinclair stated that the AAA believed the duration of yellow lights should be determined by the characteristics of the individual intersections based on the prevailing speed of traffic not just on the speed limit. He added that there are existing problems with the light cameras in New York; but it could be studied. It is not worthwhile as a subject for a lawsuit.

The case is No. 654239/2012 Luceno vs. City of New York, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyers. Protect your right to drive legally

Source: Business Week Com
(http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-05/new-york-sued-over-traffic-light-camera-tickets-fines)

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