New Hyde Park to Get Red Light Cameras Installed

County plans installation on Jericho Turnpike at New Hyde Park Road.

A red light camera. Photo credit: Patch file.
A red light camera. Photo credit: Patch file.

Drivers on Jericho Turnpike will soon have another reason to be wary once they reach New Hyde Park Road, as in addition to the infamous back-ups that occur when the gates of the Long Island Rail Road are down to allow train traffic to pass, Nassau County began installation of two red-light cameras on Friday afternoon.

“We weren’t even aware of this one until yesterday,” New Hyde Park Mayor Robert Lofaro said when asked if there were any other locations in the village where the cameras might be installed.

“We don’t always know that they’re digging,” Nassau County Traffic Safety Coordinator Chris Mistron said, noting that the county currently has cameras at 76 locations out of 100 it is allowed under law. He added said that the county has not relocated or removed any cameras from any of their locations once they were initially installed.

Mistron said that the New Hyde Park Public Works Department was notified “several months” ago due to permit process required for digging up the sidewalks at the intersection.

“Normally it could be several months, it could be a year ago… it really varies,” he said. “The contractors have to get permits in each of the villages. I think the permits were only issued a week or two ago.”

The main contractor on the project is Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions – the same third party vendor that reviews and issues the summonses – but several local companies do the actual construction on-site.

When approached, a worker on the site stated that the installation would take approximately two to three weeks. One of the cameras would be located next to the USPS box on Jericho Turnpike in front of the village hall, while the second would be pointed at New Hyde Park Road near the electronic sign at the southwest corner of the intersection.

Originally the county shied away from installing cameras within the borders of villages due to the thought that the tickets would be subject to village court jurisdiction. Some also believed that it was to ensure the county would be assured it would keep all of the revenue generated by the tickets as well.

There is a $65 fine associated with a red light camera violation, consisting of a $50 violation and a $15 administration fee. There is also a $4 fee for paying the violation online via a credit card.

However, all violations are processed through the county traffic and parking violations bureau in Hempstead

“We got a law interpretation… that the red light camera bill specifically goes to traffic and parking violations, we didn’t have to go to the village courts,” Mistron said, maintaining that the purpose of the cameras is not about revenue generation.

The installation of red light cameras are showing a 40 percent reduction in accidents at intersections at which they are installed and 30 percent reduction in rear-end collisions.

“It’s not about issuing violations, it’s about improving safety,” he said.

Mistron also said that the county is revisiting other locations including Herricks Road and Jericho Turnpike in Garden City Park due to the repaving of Route 25 change by New York State. Originally the county was going to place a camera on the northeast corner of the intersection on the Mineola side of the intersection, but state crews removed a section of sidewalk. Instead, Nassau County is focusing on the Garden City Park side of Herricks Road for southbound traffic.

Mistron has maintained that the county embraces transparency about the cameras, placing signs 100 ft. before intersections to inform motorists of the locations. However, an official list which was published on the Nassau County government website is no longer available.

Mistron said that the map was removed “several months” ago but would be available online again before the end of the year.

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Tommy Crenshaw November 18, 2013 at 03:55 PM
And do you know the cause of those "infamous back-ups"? The fact that there are two extremely dangerous at-grade crossings (New Hyde Park Road and S.12th Street). But no, no one wants the Third Track project. Everyone would rather motorists, pedestrians, and daily commuters to suffer and get aggravated at the complete idiocy of the morons who double park and block the street near the crossings every single day, causing extremely hazardous conditions. Just watch what happens every night when the 5:33 comes in. Have a clue and address the at-grade crossings before a loved-one gets killed.
Unclear Physicist November 18, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Red Light Cameras Cause Accidents Red light cameras are touted as devices that increase intersection safety. However, information is quickly surfacing that shows the inaccuracy of that belief. One source that is highlighting the increase in accidents is the media. Because so many studies are showing an increase in collisions at red light camera intersections, various news outlets are conducting their own studies in this phenomenon. Below is a small sampling of these reports. Reports From The Media Los Angeles | KCAL TV A local TV station fact-checked the city's claims that their ticket cameras reduced accidents and found that the opposite was true. At 20 of the 32 intersections studied, accidents increased and several intersections tripled their accident rate. Washington, D.C. | Washington Post This report showed an overall increase in accidents at red-light camera intersections of 107 percent. Portland, Oregon | KATU News KATU News reviewed city statistics and found a 140 percent increase in rear-end crashes at the intersections where red light cameras were installed. Fort Collins, Colorado | The Coloradoan Ft. Collins, Colorado has experienced an 83 percent increase in the number of accidents since red light cameras were installed. Oceanside, California | North County Times This report showed a 800 percent increase in rear-end accidents. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Philadelphia Weekly This article showed an increase of 10 to 21 percent in accidents in intersections with red-light cameras. Corpus Christi, Texas | TheNewspaper.com Data released by the city showed that the total number of accidents in Corpus Christi increased 14 percent, from 310 incidents to 353, at nine locations where automated ticketing machines were stationed. Contrary to the claim that red light cameras reduce the severity of collisions, the number of accidents involving injuries increased 28 percent from 140 to 179. Rear end collisions also increased by nearly a third from 160 to 208. Winnipeg, Ontario | Winnipeg Sun The average number of collisions at Winnipeg’s 12 original red-light camera intersections has jumped 18% since the devices were installed in 2003, according to Manitoba Public Insurance data obtained by the Winnipeg Sun. Despite claims by politicians and police brass that intersection cameras are making our streets safer by reducing collisions, the MPI data shows after six years of use, crashes at the intersections are actually going up, not down.
Bob Lofaro November 18, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Tommy Crenshaw is mostly correct, except there are three dangerous at-grade crossings with another at Covert Avenue, and most people are not opposed to eliminating them, but they are opposed to a third track. They are also opposed to the low budget way the MTA had planned the elimination of the crossing. But that's not the main issue with this story, it’s the confusion the red light camera victims will suffer when they get stuck in the box because of back ups, only to find themselves being issued a summons when they finally clear the intersection. We would have thought the County would have been more thoughtful in their location selection. And let’s not kid ourselves about why they are being installed. It ALL about the money. That’s why Villages were not considered in the first phase because the county didn’t want to share the revenue. But money is an appropriate incentive, along with what some believe is safety, but this particular location is just a bad choice.
Jeff Cohn November 18, 2013 at 06:12 PM
We have mapped these locations for you at http://www.photoenforced.com/ny.html
Vince LaPorta November 19, 2013 at 07:58 AM
The issue here is not the LIRR third track, or the 5:33 backing traffic up. It is the fact that there is going to be another traffic camera installed. Just another way of making the job of our men in blue easier. They should now have more time to patrol Leonard Blvd and all of the cars that run every stop sign that, we the taxpayers, paid to install. I have been raising this issue for over 3 years, been Newsday's Community Watchdog column, but to no avail!!! The cars still run the stop signs, causing great danger to other cars as well as people on foot. THIRD PCT...LETS PATROL LEONARD & TERRACE BLVDS. As I said in the Community Watchdog column, our taxes are high....we paid for the legislation to create the stop signs, paid to have them manufactured & installed, are paying to enforce the law with police salaries.........NOW START WRITING TICKETS AND CREATE REVENUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tommy Crenshaw November 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM
This is not a "bad location". It's actually a good location for the cameras. Too many drivers think that they are above the traffic laws. It's a red light--if you don't want a ticket , DON'T RUN IT. It's not rocket science. And if you hit a car from behind as you are approaching an intersection with a light that is changing, well then it's very possible you were going too fast and we're following the car at an unsafe distance (there are safe distance guidelines out there. We all need to read them as a refresher). And you won't get a ticket if you are already in the intersection waiting to make a turn. The photo and video has to clearly show that you ran the light AFTER the light turned red. If you are already in the intersection and then the light turns red, you won't receive a summons. As far as cars getting caught and blocking traffic in an intersection due to stopped traffic ahead-- shame on them. Have a clue and don't enter the intersection if you know your not going to be able to get through due to traffic ahead of you being at a standstill due in this case, too the gates being down at the NHP Road crossing. Have a clue.
Ronnie Gavarian November 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM
This is not true. The cameras are faulty. My father was issued a ticket and the video shows that he clearly stopped and then proceeded through the intersection. Don't think that they are without problems. And the Arizona company who "reads" the videos gets a portion of the summons money collected so it would behoove them to issue a "guilty" verdict in ambiguous situations. This is the antithesis of American democracy, because when you present in Court for a hearing you are already presumed "guilty" and have to prove or plead your innocence instead of the reverse. Another cheap money grab by the over-reaching government!!
Tommy Crenshaw November 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Ronnie, the description of what your father did is ambiguous. Was he making a right on red? And if so, was it a complete and obvious to the person who reviewed the video that it was a complete stop? And if so, what was the outcome when he fought the ticket?
Ronnie Gavarian November 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM
He was making a right on red and yes it was clear that he stopped. His hearing is the first week of January, and this still does not negate the fact that it is unconstitutional! Case closed.
Tommy Crenshaw November 20, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Case will be closed when hearing is over. Let us know how it goes.
Ronnie Gavarian November 20, 2013 at 02:03 PM
I certainly will. I already called Mangano's office regarding these fraudulent cases, of course, with no result. A waste of time.
Phil McCracken November 21, 2013 at 06:52 PM
I agree with a lot of the above mentioned statements. But what about the lie in this article the village had no idea it was going up? Come on stop they knew all along. It's like the village comming to your house and installing a camera in your living room. They did not know what a lie, residents be angry of that
Tommy Crenshaw November 21, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Phil, I think we went to high school together. Anyway, Mr. Mayor, your response to Phil regarding no knowledge? I mean, how is that possible??
Bill Walsh November 21, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Does anyone know if they have to post a sign saying there are cameras at an intersection?
Tommy Crenshaw November 22, 2013 at 08:42 AM
Bill, why would that matter? Do we not obey traffic laws just because we're not being filmed?
Ronnie Gavarian November 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM
I believe that currently they do not have to post a sign, but it being considered, legislatively, to make it part of the process. It matters because some may consider it entrapment, I would assume. And we know that that is a slippery slope when it comes to your rights.
Phil McCracken November 22, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Look I don't buy into that if there is a sign stuff ( I know your going with the intrapment thing ) I agree if there was a sign is that the only time we obey the law? The point is the camera is a accident hazard in a bad location that will make it worse, the big point is the mayor says he knows nothing about and that is just typical political untruth! Look at the planters in the center medium they were suposta be done in august I told everyone it will never happen, this town is getting worse and worse fast no one has ever seen such negative change in such a fast time in any town ever. It will get worse as time goes on we pay high taxes for 1/3 rd of the services towns the same size as us and one town has its own police force, do your homework you will see. Our schools are not as great as they tell us do your homework, we suffer wasteful spending and now a mayor who don't tell the truth. I don't want to move like a nomad but I am doing my homework to find the best location for my family the realy sad thing is there quite a few areas where the taxes are the same give or take for a lot more services, cleaner towns, better schools. It's time to leave New Hyde Park this town will not get better it will continue on it decline the sad thing is a lot of people stuck here will learn the hard way. Yes this started out as a red light forum but like I said in the past this is just one more thing that make living here a bad thing
Ronnie Gavarian November 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM
I couldn't agree with you more, on almost every count! I share your sentiments about a changing landscape and the crooked politics, but this is happening all over the country, not just New Hyde Park. The whole country is in decline and things keep getting worse. The red light issues just punctuates the greed of government clearly and succinctly.
Phil McCracken November 26, 2013 at 06:52 PM
The sad thing is Georg Washington if alive today did the things he did yesterday, today he would be killed for treason. And if anyone who enjoys history knows this man was a patriot to our great nation. America needs a 2013 George Washington the big problem is all of us ! We would never follow the man because we fear the reproductions, so what do we do we live like sheep and deal with it. I am told this problem is everywhere in the country and on Long Island, the people who say this could not be any more wrong, you people say this to avoid the fear of change of moving on to something new and better the fear of leaving loved ones and don't get me wrong this is a normal feeling, but it is something we must overcome to bring a sense of wellness. I have done my research extensively the county, the schools, the government tell us what we want to hear, this is fact! It's like ingredients in food we all know arsenic is bad for us so what does the food company do they change the name so you don't know. It's the same here our schools are not the best and don't let anyone kid you. People swear by this village what do you get for an extra $2,000 to $3,000 in takes private sanitation and your roads plowed big deal I have my garbage picked up along with what ever else I throw out, not to mention during the snow storms my roads were cleared as well so where's the money go. Look at the camera and the center island pathetic it's a shame the entire village should be up in arms but what do we do? We settle. We are human and all want the best we can get the problem with being human is we get attached to things and places and it's our down fall. We need to band tighter and take back out town our county and our country and stop giving away our liberties that so meany have paid the ultimate sacrifice for. Always remember to do your homework it's not the same everywhere and it is better somewhere else we just need to make to where we have to go or stand up and fight for our beliefs
Ronnie Gavarian November 27, 2013 at 09:48 AM
Bravo Phil! You get the broader point here. This is not about red lights, this is about "control." And an ever pervasive, ever encroaching government. Yet, like you said, the sheeple continue to put their blinders on and their heads in the sand, with the belief that if they don't see it, it doesn't exist. I urge you to join, if you haven't already, one of the many, many political action groups on Long Island. There are dozens of them, and I belong to more than one. Even if we can't stop what's going on in Washington and around the country, at least we can push back and stand up for what's good and right. We may not win, but at least we didn't go down without a fight! I'm right there with you Phil. My dad was a veteran and I understand the sacrifices many, many people made so we can live free, but the sad reality it there are too many takers today and not enough taxpayers. And you're correct, what do we get for these exhorbitant taxes we pay....NOTHING! Just a bunch of ordinary junk that any township in the USA gives. There are so many subversive things going on, I don't know where to start. People are too busy watching "Dancing with the Stars" or worrying about the next idiotic thing Miley Cyrus is going to do, instead of doing their "homework." People are zombies, just marching along like lemmings falling off a cliff. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Sal Vivo November 29, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I would like to remove all these cameras- That should be a great platform to run on anti- "Big Brother" movement!
Ronnie Gavarian November 30, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Run of office Sal!!! Sal's our Pal - how's that for a slogan?!? I agree - a strong anti-big-brother platform would ROCK!! Where is our candidate? Where???
John Browning December 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
a couple of helium balloons tied to these traffic camera poles should work for a little while. They tell you the cameras are for safety but anyone with at least half of a brain knows its about revenue and NOT about safety...because if it was your drivers license would be at risk, now only your wallet is at risk. Cant wait to leave this money grabbing hell-hole when I retire
Ronnie Gavarian December 11, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Yes John, I couldn't agree with you more. I've written letters to many of our representatives about this money grabbing scheme and of course I never get any answers. I can't wait either, to leave this hell-hole, New York, the new welfare state, when I retire. It isn't soon enough. Their greed is pitiful and never-ending. They never have enough, no matter how much you give.
Bob Busch December 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Well since a lot of the other comments went off topic, here goes. I avoid Jericho like a plague since they re-did it. You can't make a turn where you were able to before. As for the $$redlight I feel safe to say it is about the $$ not safety! Use the side streets but stop at the stop signs PLEASE. If you don't you are going to kill someone and soon.
Tommy Crenshaw December 12, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Of course red light cameras are all about "$$$$$". Tell us something we don't know. Here's a novel idea: how about we stop at red lights like we're supposed to and not put ourselves or anyone else in harm's way and forget about the fact that there may be camera there. And the latest news is they have reconsidered placing cameras at this intersection so all of you who were concerned about having to pay for breaking the traffic laws need not worry anymore. Knuckleheads.


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