It looks like NYC Mayor is attempting to use intersection cameras to boost budget revenues (like that is a new thing). New York Post Article:
By JAMES FANELLI and MICHELLE KASKE
Last updated: 2:51 am
February 1, 2009
Posted: 2:41 am
February 1, 2009
Drivers beware: Big Brother could be watching you at every Big Apple intersection soon.
The mayor's preliminary budget released Friday proposes to amend state law to allow for traffic-light cameras at "unlimited locations" in the city and to raise the fine from $50 to $100.
"The program has been successful, and we want to expand it," Mayor Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said.
The state Legislature has capped the number of cameras at 100. The cameras snap photos of cars passing through a red light - including the license plate. The registered owner of the vehicle is automatically mailed a ticket.
The preliminary budget calls for adding 20 more cameras, which would bring in $6.2 million in fiscal year 2009-10.
In his latest budget proposal, Gov. Paterson supported the removal of the cap on cameras. The Legislature would also have to approve the measure.
"If the state legislation becomes a reality, we would be free to continue to add cameras as needed," LaVorgna said of the city program.
Bloomberg unveiled a series of draconian proposals Friday in a spending plan that seeks to close a $4 billion deficit next fiscal year. The budget would chop 23,000 city jobs, including 14,722 teacher positions.
Yesterday, Bloomberg urged educators to lobby Albany to restore $770 million in education aid or use federal stimulus money to make up the difference.
"We need our fair share, and I'm not asking for anything more than a fair share of revenue sharing and a fair share of education aid," Bloomberg said.
"We send 50 percent of the state's revenue to Albany, we have 40 percent of the population. The governor's budget cut our revenue sharing to zero. It's hard to argue if that's fair."
Additional reporting by Ginger Adams Otis, Post Wires