Written by Daniel Offner, email@example.com Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00
Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.
Drivers across Nassau County were up in arms due to the recent implementation of the school zone cameras, which had issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.
Much to the delight of residents, Mangano addressed these concerns last week with a statement on his Twitter page that read: “I am declaring amnesty for the summer school tickets because too many tickets were issued in error and residents seemed unaware of the camera activation. If you paid your ticket, you will be issued a refund from the County Comptroller. If you have not paid yet, have fun ripping up your ticket!”
Leigh DiPasquale from Hicksville was issued a ticket after allegedly speeding through a school zone in front of Dutch Lane School, where a camera was placed for one day before being moved to the high school because it was impeding the flow of traffic. She said while she thinks the cameras are a good idea, she believes her ticket was wrongly received because she didn’t know there was a camera in front of the school and the schools aren’t in session. She was happy with the county executive’s decision.
“It’s such wonderful news. I am so glad everyone affected banded together on this issue,” said DiPasquale.
Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron acknowledged that some residents were taken by surprise, but is hoping that the cameras will help make the school zones safer.
“We didn’t utilize a warning period of sorts,” Mistron said, acknowledging the shock some residents experienced after receiving a violation in the mail. “I’d like to believe compliance will reduce the number of crashes around areas where these cameras are present.”
Nassau County plans to have a speed camera installed in each public school district, for a total of 56 speed cameras. In addition each camera will be deployed with signs warning oncoming drivers that their speed is being monitored.
The camera in front of the high school will begin activiation in September. The school zone speed will apply during school hours and one hour before and after the school day, and up to 30 minutes before and after student activities (such as games, plays, etc.).
Citing a national traffic study, Mistron said that school districts in other states that have deployed speed cameras around school zones found an 80 percent drop in violations.
“It has already had a positive effect around the country,” he said, “I want this to be a dinner conversation. Positive or negative, they’ll cause some discussion.”