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Red Light Cameras Come to Huntington

Cameras in 2 directions on Jericho Turnpike at Pidgeon Hill Road.

Two cameras designed to catch  drivers running red lights are monitoring the intersection of East Jericho Turnpike and Pidgeon Hill Road in Huntington Station.

Drivers caught ignoring the red lights while driving in either direction on Jericho  could end up with a $50 fine. The two cameras are trained on Jericho Turnpike, not intersecting roads.

The intersection is one of many state-owned and maintained traffic signals in Suffolk County that have red light cameras.  The Huntington Station cameras have been operating for more than two months.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about  165,000 people are injured every year by red light runners – and they aren't limited to the violators. "Half of the people killed in red-light running crashes are pedestrians and other drivers," said a spokesman for the New York State DOT at a recent Traffic Safety Board Meeting in Brookhaven.

"In general we are supportive of red light camera programs as long as they are done fairly and correctly, not used simply as a revenue tool," said Christopher McBride, AAA New York Community transportation specialist. "They should be located at high-crash intersections and timing should be set to the proper standards."  

According to the AAA, New York City set some of its yellow signals for a shorter time than what is recommended by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, a professional organization that sets engineering guidelines.

"They are not legally required to, but it is an industry standard. Disregarding it could lead to more rear-end collisions," said McBride.

He added that Nassau and Suffolk  follow those guidelines.

The Federal Highway Administration studied similar red-light programs in seven cities in 2005 and found that rear-end collisions increased by 15 percent and right-angle crashes decreased by 25 percent after they were installed.

The study also showed a "positive aggregate economic benefit" of more than $18.5 million in the seven communities studied.

In Suffolk County, red light camera violations are reviewed by a county employee and violations are issued by the Suffolk County Attorney's Office.  The county contract was awarded to ACS State and County Solutions of Fairfax, Va., a division of Xerox, which installed the red light cameras with Hinck Electrical Contractor, Inc. of Bohemia.

Signs reading "photo enforced" appear about 50 feet from the intersection as required under the  county agreement with New York State.The two cameras are about 30 feet in either direction from the intersection.

McBride of the AAA said, "People should be fully informed so they can be especially careful at that intersection." 

Suffolk County has set up a website for drivers who have been ticketed.

Correction: Due to an editing error, this story originally reported that there appeared to be no signs alerting drivers to the Jericho Turnpike cameras but they are posted, about 50 feet from the intersection, on both sides of the road.

Anne January 01, 2011 at 07:23 PM
The signs notifying drivers of the cameras are located about 50 feet back of the intersections on Jericho. I have noticed them on both sides since the cameras went up.
Pam Robinson (Editor) January 01, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Oh, really? That's good to know. I walked both sides yesterday and could not see them, though the sidewalks are nearly impassable. I'll go look again today. Thanks for the info.
Kimberly Glutz January 01, 2011 at 10:15 PM
I have looked and haven't seen signs either; they must not be that visible. Will more red light cameras be going up in Huntington?
Michael Naughton January 01, 2011 at 11:15 PM
The cameras and strobes are mounted on their own poles on Jericho Tpk (about 50 feet from the intersection). They are very easy to see. Look for the poles by themselves with cameras on top of them. This is an ideal intersection for these cameras as there are many (hopefully were many) accidents there. I avoid this intersection because of the number of people I have seen go through red lights.
Fighting 4 Kids January 01, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I am baffled as to why some people have an issue with these cameras or that it is suggested that prudence is needed in placement. If one drives the speed limit, there is no issue problem with stopping for a light. I wish there was a way to monitor stop signs the same way. The reality is that we need more police enforcement, but the harsh reality is that the budget will never support that... this is a good alternative to create a safer environment on our roads.
Thomas Monaghan January 02, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Are there other lights of this type in Huntington?
Hayley January 03, 2011 at 05:04 AM
Its a very hard intersection I try to avoid it because you can never make a left turn from Depot going east on Jericho that is one reason for the red light runners you cant get across now I see they put a left arrow on the light thats nice but one car makes it through on the green this is going to cause more accidents - Hey have you ever tried walking in Huntington Village I work in the Village and walk to get lunch and EVERYDAY I almost get hit by a red light runner or someone making a right on red on a corner that it's not allowed - or when cars don't even stop for the red before turning right they just kind of yeild not looking at people crossing and I have a stroller with me most of the time and I still almost get hit when I have the red light in my favor -
Ranger Sewer January 03, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Driving in Huntington is tough. Ranger Sewer
mary gunther February 20, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Driving on Long Island is tough altogether.

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