Support for Bill Expanding NYC’s Red Light Camera Program

S2812-A (Gounardes) / A5259-A (Dinowitz)
Expands and extends New York City’s red light camera program

An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to increasing the number of intersections where traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring systems may be installed and operated; to amend chapter 746 of the laws of 1988, amending the vehicle and traffic law, the general municipal law and the public officers law relating to the civil liability of vehicle owners for traffic control signal violations, in relation to extending the effectiveness thereof; and to amend local law number 46 of the city of New York for the year 1989, amending the administrative code of the city of New York relating to civil liability of vehicle owners for traffic control signal violations, in relation to extending the effectiveness thereof.

Reinvent Albany supports the intent of this legislation to enable New York City to expand its red light camera program. However, we urge lawmakers to not make any further amendments that limit expansion of the program. The A-print changes have been severe, undermining the potential effectiveness of this program – which has been proven to increase traffic safety – by reducing the number of allowed cameras from 1,350 to 600, and only allowing the program to continue until 2027 instead of 2030.

According to the sponsor’s memo of the bill, New York City’s first-in-the-nation red light camera program has been extended by the state legislature eight times since its launch in 1994. This occurred most recently in the FY 2019-2020 state budget, which extended the program through 2024. While extending the program until 2027 will ensure it can continue, we recommend that there be no sunset or expiration so that New York City does not need to lobby Albany to continue this program in the future. We support providing New York City the discretion to expand the program to 600 intersections as allowed in the bill, though also support further expansion.

Regarding home rule issues generally, Reinvent Albany believes the state should grant localities permanent authority to:

  • set maximum speed limits;
  • create and operate automated traffic enforcement camera programs, including but not limited to, automated cameras that enforce: red lights, speed limits, bus lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian right of way, the hours of operation, number and type of cameras, locations and penalties;
  • establish Residential Parking Permit programs; and
  • use automated parking enforcement cameras that are stationary or mounted on official vehicles including buses, mechanical brooms, and first responder.


  • Section one of this bill amends subdivision (a) of section 1111-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to expand the number of authorized intersections for New York City red light cameras from 150 to 600. 
  • Section two makes conforming amendments to the New York City Administrative Code.
  • Sections three and four extend the expiration of the program until December 1st, 2027.
  • Section five sets the effective date as 60 days after becoming law. 

Click here to view the memo as a PDF.