BY REBECCA SHEEHAN
When learning to drive as a teenager you quickly observe that colors are very important on the roadways. Red means stop, green means go and yellow can and always will remain tricky. Yellow essentially represents getting the driver ready to stop, because it is followed by a red light. A yellow light under no circumstances alerts the driver to speed up.
Now that we have all the traffic lights defined, three drivers caught on New York City red light cameras are filing a putative class action suit opposing their $50 tickets. As reported by Reuters, the drivers are claiming the yellow lights were rigged to change to red way too quickly.
“A $50 ticket might not seem like a lot to some people, but to me it’s a lot at the end of the day, and so, it makes me overly hesitant when I drive,” said Brian Hughes, who is a part of the lawsuit alleging fraud against the New York City’s camera system, to CBS New York.
The lawsuit ultimately is seeking restitution for the traffic tickets that were issued using the cameras, as well as including an order that the city shut down the cameras until the yellow traffic signals last at least the minimum time requirement (under federal guidelines) of three seconds. Filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday, it is also seeking a class action status for the “thousands, if not hundreds of thousands” of drivers nabbed with citations from being caught red handed by the camera system.
“We want the red-light camera program shut down,” said the plaintiffs’’ lawyer Joseph Santoli to the NY Post, about the cameras, which are responsible for more than 6 million tickets since 1998.
The suit cites a study down by the American Automobile Associate (AAA) study, and was first reported in the New York Post in October, that found four red-light camera intersections that had yellow lights that lasted only 2.53 to 2.84 seconds.
“The cities in this case, and many other municipalities, have a great incentive to shorten the duration of the yellow lights,” plaintiffs’ Santoli told CBS New York. “These tickets and violations and fines are more like a tax on the broad populace rather than targeting and correcting the behavior of bad drivers.”