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Long Island elected officials are calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to require that footage from traffic cameras be recorded, maintained, and made available to law enforcement so that police can catch dangerous drivers and get them off the road.

In a letter to Marie Therese Dominguez, commissioner of the transportation department, dated July 27, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), State Sen. John Brooks (D-Massapequa), and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) asked for amendments to the “Policy for the Design and Operation of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) in Advanced Traffic Management Systems.”

“The CCTV infrastructure is already in place and can be readily modified to automatically record and retain video footage for use by law enforcement,” the letter said. “Enabling this change will  quickly provide enhanced traffic safety on our roadways while other initiatives are studied.”

Leaders of the Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) helped draft the proposed bill, which would apply to roadways owned by the state, such as the Southern State Parkway, where there was a fatal collision last week.

“We are grateful that sponsors of the highway safety legislation, Senator Brooks and Assemblywoman Solages, continue to advocate for this critical bill that LICA assisted in crafting,” said Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA. “It’s also encouraging that others in the Senate are finally starting to prioritize the need for more stringent standards on the Southern State Parkway. We look forward to continuing to advocate for this important safety legislation.” 

New York’s current policies limit when recordings can be saved from CCTV data. In other states, however, the recordings are required to be maintained, and in New Jersey recordings are saved for seven days and available at the public’s request. The recordings document footage of dangerous road activity, such as reckless driving, speeding, street racing, or crashes. 

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