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Red Light Camera Program Criticized After Recent Deaths in Suffolk County

Elected officials in the Suffolk County Legislature recently moved to suspend the county’s red light camera program, arguing that safety data is inaccurate because it does not include bicycle and pedestrian accidents at intersections.

Two county legislators and four Republican candidates recently held a joint news conference at the intersection of Miller Place Road and Route 25A in Miller Place, a site that has seen one pedestrian and one bicycle death. These deaths have not been included in the traffic accident data collected by the program, a fact legislators say provides the county with a skewed sense of the safety measures that need to be implemented at the intersection.

A recent traffic report showed accidents with injuries decreased overall by 5 percent in 2015. However, that report also indicated that accidents increased at 46 of the 100 red-light camera intersections, while rear-end collisions rose by 30 percent. A spokesperson from the County Executive’s office said accidents involving pedestrians and bikers were dropped from these reports after 2013, but did not say why that was the case.

Democratic legislators have pushed to allow the program to continue while the county conducts an internal review, which would examine the causes of the increased accidents at some locations and suggest improvements to the overall program.

Municipalities can be liable for car accidents

There are some circumstances in which a person who has been injured in an accident can sue the local or state government in which the accident occurred.

If, for example, the streets were poorly maintained, traffic control devices or signs were defective or the roadways were otherwise poorly designed and those problems directly led to the accident, the municipality could be liable. Filing a claim against a government agency can be a monumental task, however, as there is a higher burden of proof and limited potential damages for plaintiffs.

To learn more about your options after a crash, meet with a trusted auto accident lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP