Governments' Lighter Side

Speeders beware

According to our recent poll, a lot of you think one of the primary purposes of speed cameras is to bring in revenue, and it would seem Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, proves you right.

One Sheepshead Bay speed camera located near the Belt Parkway issued over $77,000 in fines in a single day last summer, according to MyFoxNY. The camera is located on an access ramp to the parkway, where the speed limit is 30 mph.

Depending on whom you ask, the camera is either a speed trap, or a speed deterrent, the TV station reports. Tickets issued by the camera cost speeders $50 a piece, according to the New York Post. For those without a calculator handy, that means the single camera issued 1,551 tickets in a 24 hour period.

Responding to criticisms, the New York Department of Transportation had this to say: "The ramp is approximately 400 feet long, a good amount of distance for drivers to adjust their speeds.” The DOT added the camera only issues tickets to speeders going 10 mph or more over the speed limit, “So someone slowing from 50 to 40 mph, or from 45 to 35 would not receive a violation."

Local politicians seem to be split on the issue. City Councilman Chaim Deutsch told local blog Sheepshead Bites that the camera is working. New York City is adding 120 traffic cameras by the end of next year, according to The Times Picayune. Reports say the city's 20 cameras brought in $9.2 million since January.

But Councilman Mark Treyger blasted the camera as a blatant cash-grab, according to the New York Post.

What do you think? Is $77,000 in one day outrageous, or is it an appropriate deterrent to keep dangerous drivers under control? Weigh in in the comments below.


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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