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Long Island village defends implementation of automated stop sign tickets

Long Island village testing stop sign cameras
Long Island village testing stop sign cameras 02:13

SADDLE ROCK, N.Y. -- If you roll through a stop sign, you could get a $60 ticket in the mail.

Is it a money grab or a safety policy?

A Long Island village has already installed stop sign cameras -- and other municipalities want to do the same.

Saddle Rock, a Nassau County community of 1,000 residents on the North Shore, is defending its automated stop sign tickets.

Cameras are mounted on stop signs and are rolling 24/7.

The village board voted in favor of issuing $60 tickets to anyone who runs a stop sign. On Monday, CBS2 saw multiple vehicles blowing right through the signs.

"They are speeding. They are not stopping and they don't give a damn, and when you hold their feet to the fire the answer is, 'Well, I'm not sure you are allowed to enforce it?'" Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy said.

There has been pushback from residents.

"I think it should have gone through the state Legislature first. I don't think it's technically legal," one said.

"I think it's a bit rigid, actually. I think there should be some flexibility," another said.

"They should stop all this nonsense because it's all about money, nothing else but money," another added.

But the mayors of the nearby villages of Thomaston and Roslyn Estates say they would consider camera stop signs in their communities.

"The police are strapped. They have higher priorities than stop signs and speeding in villages. So, if this works out, it's a way to make the streets safer," Roslyn Estates Mayor Paul Leone Peters said.

The not-for-profit group that represents the 64 villages in Nassau County voted this week to back state legislation authorizing stop sign enforcement in local villages.

State Sen. Jack Martins, a Republican representing Mineola, is now working on stop sign trial legislation. Supporters say it's not a money grab, it's about safety, and should be collaborative.

"What's very, very important as a village is that we have the option to do this. The state should not mandate," Thomaston Mayor Steven Weinberg said.

Red light cameras, speed cameras in work zones, and school bus stop arm cameras have all had prior legislative approval. However, none exists for stop signs. Experts say it would take a successful lawsuit to block Saddle Rock's policy.

Multiple Long Island villages plan to hold public meetings this week and vote on introducing stop sign cameras in a trial run.

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