Traffic fines and fees on Long Island last year totaled $146 million – a nearly $104 million increase from five years ago.
With Long Island being home to 10 of the New York’s top 25 revenue-generating municipal traffic courts, Newsday reported the funds are used to pay for services, materials and salaries.
Government officials cited “effective enforcement” for the upshot in ticket revenue. Great Neck Plaza Clerk-Treasurer Patricia O’Byrne, said, “I think you get a fine if you deserve it. “It’s a way to make sure there’s public safety. And maybe it’s better that all our revenues are not based on property taxes.”
Patrick Ryder, Commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department, said, “Traffic summons are issued to drivers that violate the vehicle and traffic law to act as a deterrent and to educate drivers. Although revenue is generated by summonses as part of the deterrent, in no way do officers write summonses just to generate revenue.”
How Municipalities On Long Island Operate
Nearly 100 village and town courts on Long Island took in $40 million last year, with a majority of the money coming from parking and traffic tickets.
In Nassau County, traffic-court revenue increased to $73 million last year from $52 million in 2013 – a jump credited to red-light cameras.
Suffolk County’s traffic court made $33 million last year – a $6 million increase from 2014, not including the county’s red-light program, which generated $27.6 million.
Many municipalities tack on additional fees to traffic tickets and fines. New York State adds $300 for six or more points on your license accumulated over an 18-month period.
In Nassau, a red-light camera violation is $50 plus a $55 public-safety fee and a $45 driver-responsibility fee – totaling $150.
Suffolk County adds a $30 administrative fee to its $50 red-light violation.
Long Island is home to 10 of New York’s top 25 revenue-generating town and village traffic courts.
1. Harrison, Westchester County, $3,933,115.00
2. Amherst, Erie County, $3,423,518.64
3. Wallkill, Orange County, $3,317,544.27
4. East Hampton, Suffolk County, $3,273,860.26
5. Port Chester, Westchester, $3,264,815.40
6. Freeport, Nassau County, $2,857,393.00
8. Southampton, Suffolk, $2,569,761.50
9. Lynbrook, Nassau, $2,344,853.00
10. Hempstead, Nassau, $2,200,814.00
12. Mineola, Nassau, $2,095,749.99
14. Valley Stream, Nassau, $2,034,535.06
18.Garden City, Nassau, $1,700,656.00
23. Cedarhurst, Nassau, $1,523,043.72
25. Rockville Centre, Nassau, $1,440,821.00