AAA Analysis of Red Light Camera Programs Finds Serious Flaws

AAA New York State conducted a review of the red light camera programs in New York State. We found that the programs have serious flaws in operation and transparency. In particular, many municipalities have not completed state-mandated reports in the required fashion, making it difficult to assess the safety benefits of the programs but easy to discern a revenue motive. Some recommendations to the state legislature include:

-Vote down any bill that would expand the programs or make them permanent
-Disclose all reports to the public
-Create a state oversight committee for red light cameras
-Enforce penalties for low-quality reports or operation
-Require video for all programs

The full report can be found below:

Red Light Camera Report

NY Potholes Not Just Inconvenient but Costly

AAA New York State recently joined with the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association to detail the heavy cost of potholes to New York State drivers and to advocate for additional trasportation funding.  The full press release can be seen here.

2014 Legislative Program

This year, AAA New York State will push for legislation to toughen distracted and drunk driving laws, make public authorities more accountable, reform automated enforcement programs to make them more fair and transparent, and expand our parnership with DMV.

Our complete 2014 Legislative Program is available by clicking Here


Toll Tax Credit for Drivers

AAA New York State joined Senator Carlucci in calling for a tax credit for commuters in New York State. See the details of the plan in the press release by clicking here!

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie?

"Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry." Like Don McLean's levee, funding for the highway system that helps make America a mobile and prosperous nation is about to run dry. Later in 2014, the federal Highway Trust Fund will be officially insolvent, a fact which will hasten the well underway deterioration of our nation's roads and bridges.

Toll Authority Out of Control

What public entity would feel free to transfer valuable naming rights to a retiring executive and pay royalties for 27 years?

Texting-While-Driving Penalties and Fines Increase in New York State

Effective July 26, the fines for using a cell phone for any reason (except hands-free) have increased. This primary offense will now cost drivers $150 plus an $88-$93 surcharge and they will also receive five violation points on their driver's license. A driver can get their license suspended if they receive 11 points during an 18-month period.

The new penalties come from the direction of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—and it’s not the only thing he is doing to crack down on distracted drivers. The governor also signed legislation on July 1st that enacted new and tougher penalties for drivers with probationary and junior licenses convicted of texting-while-driving. This legislation requires violators' licenses suspended for 60 days after their first conviction for texting while driving.

AAA fully supports both the new penalties. John A. Corlett, Legislative Committee Chairman for AAA New York State, said, “Texting-while-driving is one of the riskiest behaviors any driver can undertake and poses a danger to everyone on our roads. AAA also strongly supports the Governor’s imposition of new penalties for texting-while-driving on new and younger drivers. There’s no reason that our least experienced drivers – teens with whom we are working to keep safe through graduated driver licensing and driver education, should be doing anything other than focusing on driving. In fact, traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death and injury for teens and surveys indicate texting is even more prevalent among young novice drivers. What that tells us is that even tougher penalties need to be put in place to affect behavior change.”

New York State Police will be increasing their enforcement on texting-while-driving throughout the summer.

End Discriminatory Tolling Practices By E-ZPass

Hoping drivers won't notice the fine print, some bridge, tunnel, and highway tolling authorities have quietly begun charging higher toll rates to travelers using E-ZPass in a state other than the one their pass is registered in.

AAA has raised the issue in Albany and Washington but legislators don't seem to be in any hurry to correct this moneymaking injustice.

Suspend E15 Gasoline Sales

E15, a potentially harmful fuel blend that poses increased risk for consumers is hitting markets before we know exactly how it affects our cars. And this new fuel, which contains up to 15 percent ethanol, could void your vehicle warranty - leaving you stuck with the bill for costly car repairs.

Slam, Bam, the Parkway's Jammed

It's about time. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) is finally getting serious about trucks hitting overpasses on New York's parkways.

For decades, trucks have mistakenly made their way onto the cars-only parkways, and unless the trucker stops before approaching the low clearance of an overpass, it's often a slamming, roof-shearing, traffic-paralyzing mess.

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