North Hills officials expressed opposition on Wednesday to a county plan to install red-light cameras at an intersection in the village, saying they were intended to raise county revenues and would make the roadway safer.
“The county is doing this as as revenue source, and that’s the only reason,”Mayor Marvin Natiss said of the cameras. “It’s not going to help the traffic patterns; it’s not going to help the traffic flow. It’s going to bring in money [for Nassau County].”
Natiss reported at a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday that Greenman Pederson, an engineering firm in Babylon contracted by the county to design red-light cameras, had contacted the village asking if permits would be required to install two red-light cameras at the Shelter Rock Road and North Service Road intersection: one northbound on Shelter Rock Road and one westbound on North Service Road.
Natiss said the intersection is a “hot spot, with an average of five wrecks per month according to Nassau County police reports issued monthly.
Natiss, however, along with trustees Phyllis Lentini, Dennis Sgambati and Gail Cohen, said they do not believe the lights are in the best interest of residents.
“One of my complaints about these red-light cameras, I really believe they’re rigged,” Natiss said. “I honestly and personally believe they’re rigged.”
Natiss said he has received one ticket from a red-light camera in Manhasset, and Cohen said she has received three on New Hyde Park Road.
Lentini pointed out that the questions from Greenman Pederson weren’t for the trustees’ opinions about the cameras but a simple question of what’s required to install them.
Village Attorney A. Thomas Levin said without any plans to examine, he could not answer if permits were needed but said they would likely use county or state land to install the cameras and therefore would be outside the village’s jurisdiction.
Natiss said the main purpose of the red-light camera violations, which do not add points to a driver’s record and the fines cannot be reduced, is to increase the county’s revenue stream and will not benefit drivers.