New York suburb forgives $2.4 million in speed camera tickets

Motorists in a New York suburb racked up $2.4 million in fines after they were caught on camera speeding at six school locations, but now those tickets are being forgiven after it was discovered that the cameras were catching motorists on days the schools were not in session.

Nassau County declared the amnesty for 40,000 citations involving drivers who have been issued tickets since July 24.

“If you paid a ticket it will be refunded; and if you haven’t, have fun ripping your ticket up,” County Executive Ed Mangano told WABC Friday.

The cameras were installed at school locations in Elmont, Merrick, Bethpage, Levittown, Hicksville and Hempstead.

“I was not happy with the report I received from the vendor with respect to errors,” Mangano told the station.

A camera in Bethpage caught one motorist driving above the 25 mph speed limit on 11 days when there was no summer school. On non-school days, the speed limit at that location is 40 mph. Doreen Delach told WABC she was under the legal speed limit on each one of the days she got a ticket.

A new law was passed in April allowing the use of school zone speed cameras in Nassau, neighboring Suffolk County and New York City. The law allows one camera in each of their school districts.

Newsday said Nassau is installing cameras at 56 locations. Signs warning motorists of the cameras will be posted at each location.

But Judith Jacobs, a member of the Nassau County Legislature, said the signs need to be bigger and brighter.

“Otherwise, it’s a speed trap,” she told the paper.