Tonawanda News

The City

March 7, 2014

CITY: Traffic cameras at a standstill

Tonawanda News — The City of Tonawanda’s red light camera proposal is at a standstill and the state has not yet considered the program for approval, officials said Thursday.

RedFlex Traffic Systems Inc., an Arizona-based company, hopes to install red light cameras at three local intersections. The council passed a resolution in December allowing plans to progress, but the program is subject to state approval. 

“If in fact, they did give us the approval, there would still have to be another resolution passed before the cameras are installed,” Council President Carleton Zeisz said. 

But in late January, State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, wrote a letter to Mayor Rick Davis informing him that the city needs to take further steps before state legislation is drafted.

“In preparing such legislation, it is necessary for us to have specific information from the city to ensure that the legislation drafted, introduced and ultimately passed by the legislature is exactly what the city requires,” Schimminger wrote.

Jill Szpylman, Schimminger’s communications director, said Thursday that the office has not received any follow-up information from the city, but Davis said Police Chief William Strassburg has responded. 

Davis said he would have Strassburg resend the information if it was not received.

In his letter, Schimminger also warned that all of the red light camera projects in the state are demonstration projects, and will sunset at the end of the year.

“Any information that you or the council may have that would support the need for such an undertaking in the city would be helpful, as the subject of red light cameras has been somewhat controversial in the legislature,” he said. “I would also note that only two such measures ... were introduced for consideration last year. Neither was acted on by the assembly or Senate Transportation Committees.”

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