Use of red light cameras — which advocates say promotes safety, but is really just another way of shaking down motorists for money — is being hugely expanded by the state legislature. The lawmakers approved them for use in Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and allowed New York City to add 50 cameras to the 100 it already has installed.
Red light cameras automatically take pictures of cars’ license plates as they allegedly run red lights. The scam works pretty well until news organizations catch the cameras photographing cars that are not in fact running red lights; then their operators have to lay low for awhile until people stop paying attention. Some jurisdictions just try to ensure a profitable result by shortening the timing of yellow lights.
The safety claims for red light cameras are, as most citizens will have guessed, less than airtight. Photo (cc) thombo2.