Nassau County speed zone cameras: The people spoke and this time government actually listened!

By | December 11, 2014

Back in October, fresh off of the implementation of the School Speed Zone cameras in Nassau County, the following question was asked…

New York school zone speed cameras: Are they just another regressive tax?

…Could it be that beyond the safety issue this is an attempt by cash-strapped municipalities to raise revenue by going after the low-hanging fruit of speeding violations?

Not that going faster than the posted speed limit isn’t wrong, but I doubt there are many among us who aren’t guilty of this at one time or another.

So in a world where a 25 MPH speed limit is not very difficult to breach regardless of whether the driver is in a car or a truck, what segment of society is going to be hurt the most by this law that to most observers seems to be nothing more than a government money grab?

If in Nassau County the fine is $50 and the fee $30 no matter what, then the answer is that lower income individuals and families will be hit the hardest. For that reason, to me these cameras appear to be little more than another regressive tax.

A regressive tax is ‘a tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people. A regressive tax is generally a tax that is applied uniformly. This means that it hits lower-income individuals harder.’ (Source)

Using a non-scientific assumption that lower-income and higher-income people are on the road approximately the same amount of time and have similar driving habits, how can this method for cash-strapped cities and towns to raise money be anything but regressive?

Conclusion

While slowing drivers down in neighborhoods and in school zones is an excellent goal, there must be a better or more fair way to achieve it…

The Speed Camera Results Are In For The First Three Months And The Numbers Are Staggering!

400,000 tickets generating $32 million in fines with a $24.4 million after-cost net in revenue that the County never would have had without them.

But the money has not been generated without extensive controversy and for once it seems the electorate may have won out!

A Happy Ending For Motorists!

Thanks to political expediency, it appears that this revenue raising experiment will soon come to an end!

In response to outrage by residents, the county legislature on Monday is expected to repeal the program that catches motorists on camera speeding through school zones. Although the legislature gave unanimous approval to the speed camera program, Republican party leaders warned GOP legislators and County Executive Edward Mangano last week that an enraged electorate would be expected to take their anger out at the polls next November when all 19 legislators are up for election. (Source)

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Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

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If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

6 thoughts on “Nassau County speed zone cameras: The people spoke and this time government actually listened!

  1. Jim Turgeon

    Well— HOOORAH— & good for the 400,000 idiots who drive too fast in a potentially dangerous place where our children go to school. They’ve stopped a program which would have made it safer for our children or in my case, Grandchildren.
    The speeders at the school zone near where I live have so far managed to cause 1 death & 2 kids maimed 2 others badly in 2 years.
    This was a highschool where the kids were old enuf to know the rules of stop look & listen
    The city then installed a set of timed lights that required the idiot drivers to slow to 40 KPH (25 MPH for the backward nations not yet on the metric system)
    Since then ZERO accidents per year happened & a very few drivers were nailed for a $350.00 fine & 6 points on the driver’s license plus about 60 bux court costs.
    I have to rate this ruling —
    Idiot drivers —— 1
    Common sense– 0
    If your kids are going to school they should stage a SELMA in school zones every day till the speed limit is again back in & enforced.
    What the hell did those 400,000 drivers have to do that was more important than protecting American school kid’s lives?

    Reply
  2. Jay Dee

    What no one mentions here is that cities will “adjust” the timing to immprove revenue from the red light cameras. For instance, the DOT’s Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices specifies a yellow light period of 30 seconds.

    This has been studied to death and repeatedly found that this time sharply reduces acccidents. However, red light cameras generate virtually no income with this yellow light period. To generate income, the respective municipalities reduce the yellow light period. I’ve seen reports of yellow lights as short as 2 & 3 seconds. This actually causes more accidents while your government enjoys the revenue.

    I’ve wondered if someone could document the timing of the traffic signal in question then sue the city in small claims court to get the money back. Would RICO apply?

    Reply
  3. Mark Davis

    The cameras do not make anyone safer! It just punishes you after the fact. people will still speed. Both knowingly and unknowingly. it’s human nature. Money would have been better spent on more crossing guards to protect children.

    Reply
  4. Jim Turgeon

    If the fines are substantial enuf & the area is policed in the appropriate hours it will work. To a motorist 80 bux is a tank of gas. Try the fines at 300 or 400 bux & 5 points on your DL & the speeding will stop & the kids will be safer even if no cops are in sight.
    I disagree with the idea that stop signs work— put in ” YIELD” signs. The traffic would be the same, the
    T-bones would be less & the motorists a lot happier. Conversely, If there are stop signs enforce them and the public coffers would be overflowing. Naturally, there would be a blizzard of 1 term Mayors & city councilmen/persons/women but the would be safer.

    Reply

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