Munsey Park to consider installing speed cameras

Munsey Park trustees are considering the installation of traffic cameras throughout the village in an effort to curb speeding.

The board Wednesday heard a presentation from representatives from the Lanham, Md.-based Optotraffic, which would provide equipment and labor for the cameras in exchange for a percentage of the village’s future camera revenue, but trustees said they wanted to weigh their legal options before discussing a contract with the company.

“I think if you feel any hesitance from the board, it’s because we’re so interested in it and we kind of started poking around and everywhere we poked around said we can’t do it, so by coming back to us with a legal brief saying we can do it, and laying out how we can do it, I think you can assuage a lot of the concerns you’re probably feeling from us,” Village of Munsey Park Mayor Frank DeMento said. 

Dorian H. Grubaugh, a regional sales manager for Optotraffic, said the board could kill the program at any time and could customize the village’s plan as it sees fit.

State law permits Long Island municipalities to install speed cameras, but presently no village in Nassau or Suffolk County has implemented a program, officials said. 

Optotraffic uses a laser tracking program that captures 10,000 measurements per second across a set distance, which then calculates how fast a vehicle travels through those two points, Grubaugh said.

He added that Optotraffic has had success at calming traffic because the company held numerous public education sessions about the program informing motorists of where cameras were installed and how they work.

“We want everyone to know exactly where everything is,” Grubaugh said.

The camera proposal is one of several traffic-calming measures the board is considering. 

Trustees have said they may look to install additional speed signs, speed bumps, grooved pavement markings and repairing sidewalks as well as implementing new legislation to combat speeding and requesting increased patrols from Nassau County police.

“We’d spoken with other municipalities and the impression we came away with is that we were not able to have speed enforcement mechanisms, radar signs…but we’d love to be wrong,” Trustee John Lippmann said.

Nassau County repealed its school speed zone program in December after lawmakers said they received an influx of complaints from constituents about the frequency with which cameras issued tickets. Nassau has red-light cameras installed throughout the county.

“There’s a misconception out there now that speed cameras are bad, but the fact of the matter is the way they were implemented, it was bad,” Grubaugh said. “I don’t know the whole situation surrounding what they did, but just looking and reading some things it looks like they dropped off about 33 cameras and said good luck.”

Suffolk County, which planned to begin its school speed zone camera program in 2015, postponed its rollout until after the November elections.

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Bill San Antonio

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