Governor Cuomo gives the green light for red light cameras in Rochester

Updated: 07/22/2014 11:09 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 10:56 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

Governor Cuomo gave the green light to Rochester to continue its red light camera program across the city. On Tuesday, the governor signed a bill giving the city the option to keep the cameras at the intersections around Rochester for the next five years.

Supporters say the cameras help keep Rochester roads safe, but critics argue they are just another way for the city to make money.

Two years ago, a red light camera was installed at Monroe Avenue and Alexander Street. A 2010 AARP study showed that intersection was the second most dangerous intersection among five upstate counties, including Erie and Onondaga Counties. While the city says it needs three years of numbers to determine if they make a difference, the city says the red light cameras reduce accidents.

Jennifer DiSalvo said, “A lot of people are not trying to run that red light and get a ticket because they know what the price is. So that is why they think twice.”

Jennifer DiSalvo lives near the intersection of Lexington and Mount Read Blvd. It is one of the locations where you will find a red light camera. DiSalvo says the camera seems to have made a difference. People are slowing down. The mayor says the reason the city installed the cameras is to make the streets safer for motorists.

But some people are not buying it. 

Leslie Rose said, "If a cop pulls me over and I’m like, 'Oh, I'm delivering pizza.' He will be like, ‘Oh, alright you can go.’ But if a camera catches me, I do not even get the personal contact."

There is a nationwide debate about the effectiveness of red light cameras. A study of the intersection of Norton Street and North Clinton Avenue from 2010 to 2011 showed a 79 percent decline in accidents. There were 28 crashes one year and six crashes the next year. 

Assemblyman David Gantt, who chairs the New York State Assembly's Transportation Committee, fought for the city to get them.

David Gantt, (D) New York State Assemblyman, said, “Personally, I don't like red light cameras. I'll tell anybody that. At the state level, they all know it. But as I said, my mayor said she wanted it, the Rochester City Council President and the Rochester City Council wanted it. If they don't want them, they still can say no.”

Gantt says the cameras are a million dollar revenue source for the city. Chandler Holeman says that is the problem.

Chandler Holeman said, “I would actually have to look at the data. It is just one more headache.”

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