SUFFOLK COUNTY RED LIGHT SAFETY PROGRAM
- Suffolk County’s Red Light program is a safety program focused on changing driver behavior at red light intersections through a comprehensive effort involving engineering, education and enforcement. The Suffolk County Red Light Safety program uses automated enforcement to enhance the safety of motorists at red light intersections located within Suffolk County.
- The Red Light Safety Program was authorized by Local Law 20-2009 and New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1111-b, which permit the installation of red light cameras at up to 50 intersections in Suffolk County.
- Suffolk County's Red Light Program began on July 15, 2010. The red light camera fine is $50 and there are no associated points. A $30 Administrative Fee is assessed for all violations.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE SUFFOLK COUNTY RED LIGHT SAFETY PROGRAM
Suffolk County implemented this safety program using the following principles:
- Clearly identify and effectively communicate red light related safety problems to the public.
- Make Automated Red Light Enforcement sites visible to road users through signage and media outlets.
- Deploy Automated Red Light Enforcement at intersections where they fulfill a bona-fide need.
- Ensure a fair program by deploying Automated Red Light Enforcement only after careful consideration and study.
- Determine the effectiveness of the program through continuous, ongoing evaluations.
MAKING SUFFOLK’S ROADS SAFER
- Red light running killed 676 people and injured an estimated 113,000 in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths were people other than the red light running drivers.
- Studies show that red light camera programs are effective in reducing crashes at intersections, especially right-angle crashes, which cause the most personal injury, and save lives.
- The issuance of citations by automated enforcement is a fair and objective way to remind drivers that they are required by law to stop at red lights, and that there are consequences for unsafe driving practices, like red-light running.
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What is Suffolk County's Red Light Safety Program?
Suffolk County’s Red Light program is a safety program focused on changing driver behavior at red light intersections through a comprehensive effort involving engineering, education and enforcement. The Suffolk County Red Light Safety program uses automated enforcement to enhance the safety of motorists at red light intersections located within Suffolk County.
Is Red Light running really a problem?
Yes. Red light running is one of the major causes of crashes, deaths and injuries at signalized intersections. Red light running killed 676 people and injured an estimated 113,000 in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths were people other than the red light running drivers.
How do Red Light Photo Enforcement Cameras work?
- Red light safety cameras monitor intersection approaches through advanced detection and imaging technology.
- The red light safety camera is only active when the traffic light is red. Vehicles crossing the stop line or entering the intersection after the light turns red are detected automatically.
- A video of the violation is taken and the camera takes two images of the vehicle progressing through the red light. Cameras record information including the date, time, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal, and vehicle speed.
- The cameras photograph the vehicle from the rear – the driver is not photographed.
- Trained technicians review each violation before a citation is mailed to ensure that the vehicle is in violation.
How will I know which intersections have Red Light Cameras?
There will be signs posted at intersections where red light cameras have been installed.
Doesn't placing signs at the approach to intersections with Red Light Cameras defeat the purpose of installing the cameras?
No. The purpose of the red light camera program is to improve intersection safety by reducing the number of red light violations. If the warning signs stop motorists from running red lights rather than the cameras themselves, then the purpose of the program is being met.
Do cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?
No. Cameras are set so that only those vehicles that enter the intersection after the light has turned red are photographed. Vehicles entering the intersection on yellow and still in the intersection when the light turns red are not photographed.
Isn't the main purpose of Red Light Cameras to make money?
No. The goal of photo enforcement is to deter violators, not catch them. Signs and public information campaigns warn drivers that photo enforcement is in use. Revenue is generated from fines paid by drivers who continue to run red lights, but this is a fundamental component of all traffic enforcement programs.
How were the intersections in the program selected?
Intersections for red light cameras were selected based on analysis of safety data (i.e. congestion, crash history, and violation data).
How much is the fine for a Red Light Camera violation?
The fine for a red light camera citation is $50, with an Administration Fee of $30. Additional late fees of $25 will be assessed if the citation is not paid in accordance with established timeframes.
Are points assessed against my drivers license for a Red Light Camera violation?
Can I receive citations for other offenses as a result of my Red Light citation?
Can I turn right on red at Red Light Camera intersections where right -on-red-after-stop is permitted?
Yes, but only after bringing your vehicle to a complete stop before the stop line and there is a complete cessation of vehicle movement. If you do not stop, but simply slow down and roll through the turn, you may receive a citation.
Who receives the citation?
Citations are mailed to the owner and/or registrant of the vehicle. The owner and/or registrant is legally liable to pay the fine.
What if I wasn't the driver of the vehicle at the time of the violation?
According to New York State laws, the owner and / or registrant are legally responsible to pay the fine without regard to whether they were actually driving at the time of the infraction.
What if my vehicle or license plates were stolen prior to the citation?
If your vehicle or license plates were stolen prior to the date and time of the red light infraction, you may plead not guilty to the citation; however a police report must be presented which verifies the theft.
If I am already in the intersection when a light turns red, will I get a citation?
No. But remember, a yellow light before red is a warning for the driver to slow down and prepare to stop. Entering or being in an intersection anytime on a red signal is dangerous. Citations are only issued when a vehicle enters the intersection AFTER the light has turned red.
Will my insurance rates be affected?
What happens if I ignore the notice of violation?
- Failure to pay the fine or to contest liability prior to the due date of the Notice of Liability is an admission of liability, and failure to appear at a hearing after having requested a hearing is an admission of liability and constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal.
- Failure to pay the fine by the due date will result in the imposition of an additional late-payment fee of $25. If the fine is not paid after the second notice date, collections proceedings may commence and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles may be notified to place a hold on your registration activity.
What if I don't believe I ran a red light and want to discuss my case with someone?
You may request an appearance before the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency. The citation is not subject to discretionary reduction. You cannot plead to a lesser offense and the fine cannot be reduced.
How do I pay my fine?
Payment options are as follows:
- ONLINE PAYMENT: The fastest and easiest way to pay your fine is to pay online. Go to http://www.public.cite-web.com (Visa/MC/Discover) and log on with your Citation # and Pin # shown in the red box on the front of your notice. A $4.00 processing fee will be assessed for each credit card transaction.
- PAYMENT BY PHONE: Call 866-637-0008 and follow the automated prompts. Please have your citation number and credit card ready. A $4.00 processing fee will be assessed for each credit card transaction.
- PAYMENT BY MAIL: Check or money order should be made payable to: Suffolk County Treasurer. Mail your payment and remittance stub in the envelope provided. Write the citation number and license plate number on your check or money order to ensure proper credit. Returned checks are subject to electronic redeposit for the face amount and a returned check fee of $20.00. DO NOT SEND CASH. The address is:
- Suffolk County Red Light Safety Program PO Box 778 Baltimore, MD 21203
- PAYMENT IN PERSON: Cash, money order or credit card (Visa/MasterCard/Discover) payments can be made in person at: Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788, Monday-Friday, 9AM - 4:30 PM, except holidays. No personal checks will be accepted. A $4.00 processing fee will be assessed for each credit card transaction.
Can I view images or a video clip of the violation?
Yes. The recorded video and images are available for review online at http://public.cite-web.com. You will need your Citation number and Pin number printed on your citation to view your images.
Who do I contact with questions about the Red Light Safety Program?
Questions about citations should be directed to the Suffolk County Red Light Safety Program, 866-637-0008 from the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays.
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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Federal Highway Administration Highway Safety Website
Red Means Stop - Traffic Safety Alliance (non-profit organization dedicated to reducing red light running.)
Suffolk County Homepage
Suffolk County Stop DWI
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Red Light Camera Research
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SC Red Light Safety Program Annual Report 2010
SC Red Light Safety Program Annual Report 2011
SC Red Light Safety Program Annual Report 2012
SC Red Light Safety Program Annual Report 2013