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Editorial: Are We Paying For Safety?

A new law is set to put up hundreds of robots monitoring motorists in school zones. Speeders will be fined at the rate of $50 per violation, with tickets mailed to recipients, arriving long after the fact. Not a dime of the money will come to Farmingdale, it’s all for Nassau County. 

 

Some are for it, saying it’s all about safety for children. Pedestrian fatalities among children have fallen 41 percent since 2002, to just 230 nationwide in 2011—although each one is unquestionably heartbreaking.  

 

Some are against the speed cams as a punitive revenue gimmick for the cash-strapped county. To others, that’s a point in its favor: a revenue-generator linked to individual behavior. Still others object to the broad, ‘big brother’ aspect of this vast vacuuming of vehicular data. 

 

Here, too, we have mixed feelings. One staffer points out that red-light robot cameras, for example, don’t seem to allow for rights on red (a third of all  tickets). He’s further irked because “you can’t face a robot in court.” He no longer turns right on red, anywhere, ever (probably annoying other drivers). Another editor worries that cameras will become a cheap substitute for cops—who can catch more than just speeding drivers. 

 

What do you think? Sneaky revenue gimmick for Nassau County or critical safety move for Farmingdale children? Worth doing either way? 

 

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