Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Steve Krokoff have thrown their support behind state legislation that would allow the city to roll out a 5-year "demonstration" program to install cameras that would capture images of vehicles that run red lights.
Councilwoman Leah Golby, State Senator Neil Breslin, Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Assemblyman John McDonald, Police Chief Steve Krokoff.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Cameras would be mounted at many of the city's most dangerous intersections. The sponsors of the bill - state Senator Neil Breslin and Assembly members Pat Fahy and John McDonald flanked city officials during a press conference at the Pine Hills Library. Mayor Sheehan says the plan would benefit the public "This is not something that we're looking at as a way of filling a budget gap or as another method of increasing the city's revenue. We're looking at it as a public safety tool and one of the things that we're gonna have to look at is 'can we afford it?' " Officials stressed the announcement is the first of many steps before cameras actually appear anywhere in the city, which averages 42 traffic incidents on any given day.
What's the point of a red-light camera — to make intersections safer or to generate revenue? That's the question prompted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, who say the cameras are sometimes used in ways that are more likely to make money than to improve safety.
Some U.S. cities have stopped sending police officers to investigate fender-bender car accidents. The novel approach to dealing with crashes may crash and burn before it sees the light of day in New York.